Saturday, September 3, 2011

New York

Today we deviated a bit from our usual state-dinner routine. We drew New York last week, which opened so many possibilities: pizza, bagels, all varieties of ethnic cuisine, etc. In the end, we decided to leave the city all together and head Upstate.

As luck would have it, I have been reserving all the wings from the local chickens I've purchased this summer. I always prefer to buy whole chickens (why pay someone else to cut it up when you can do it so easily yourself?). I usually buy five to ten at a time and cut at least half of them into pieces to freeze. In past years, I've always tossed the wings in with the backbones to use for stock. Then it occurred to me that I might want to save them and make a batch of Buffalo Wings. Then, we drew New York in the same week that college football got rolling and, was just too easy.

So, New York's "dinner" consisted of homemade Buffalo Wings, in front of the Iowa/Tennessee Tech game. A fine Saturday afternoon!

I had never prepared wings before, but Marc declared that they must be crispy, not chewy or rubbery. This eliminated baking or steaming. Obviously, deep frying was the only way to proceed. I had frozen all the wings whole, so first I had to trim them. You cut off the tip, then cut through the middle of the other joint so that you have two meaty pieces. I seasoned 1/2 cup of white flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder dredged the wings and let them sit while the oil heated.

The dredged wings prepare for their deep-fried future

I ended up with 36 wing pieces (from 9 chickens), so I fried them in three batches of 12. I used peanut oil and heated it over medium heat to about 375 degrees. Each batch fried for 15-20 minutes, until the skin was nice and brown on all sides. I put the finished wings on a paper towel-lined sheet pan into a 175 degree oven to wait for the others.

To satisfy everyone, I did three flavors: spicy, honey barbecue and plain. For the traditional, spicy wings I melted 1/4 cup of butter with 1/4 cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce with pepper and garlic powder. When all the wings were cooked, I poured the hot sauce into the bottom of a large bowl and added 12 of the wings to toss it all together. In a separate bowl, the next 12 got the same treatment with a prepared honey barbecue sauce.

On the side I served celery stalks and bleu cheese dressing.

Marc declared these the "best wings ever." This is exactly what you should say if your spouse spends the entire first half of the football game making the wings while you watch the game and drink beer. Just so you know. Both kids liked them too--Maia preferred the plain, which she said was just like fried chicken, Lucy liked the honey barbecue. We all agreed that the messiness was a key component:

This was a bit of work, and when I was done the kitchen was a disaster area. It was worth it, though--these were really good!

(oh, and in case you were wondering, the Hawks walloped Tennessee Tech)

Next stop: Kansas

1 comment:

  1. I'd rather watch you frying wings
    than watch the Hawkeyes win or lose!
    sorry - that hurts the fans, I'm sure.
    This meal was a workout.
    Loved the photo.