Food origins fascinate me. I love to learn the history of a dish, the reason for the cooking technique, or the need filled by a certain kind of food. Buffalo wings have a unique origin story. They were created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo. She threw some food together for her college-age son and his friends. She grabbed what she had: Hot sauce, margarine, wings, blue cheese, and some mayo. Maybe she added the now standard celery and carrot sticks but I like to think they were excluded.
Every year at TLS, we celebrate the "Big Game" with a special Super Wing Toss. Traditionally wings are deep fried, but I think that's just because frying wings (or most food) is an easy way to get them cooked in a hurry. We've added a little more technique to the cooking process.
First, we steam the wings. Chicken wings have a good amount of fat and we want to remove some of this fat before we bake them. If all the fat is still in the wing, the oven is going to get pretty smokey.
Second we lay the wings in a single layer on a wire rack over a sheet pan. We typically line the sheet pan with parchment paper to help with clean up. We bake the wings at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the skin is crispy. Be patient with this part. The fat in the wings will essentially fry the wing.
For the sauce, add 1/4 cup of hot sauce to 2 TBSP melted butter and whisk to combine. At home, I like to add minced garlic and some worcestershire sauce as well. Toss the wings with the sauce and enjoy. If the hot sauce is a little too hot for your taste, add some honey to the mix. The sweetness helps to tame the heat.