Better-for-you Original Buffalo Wings

This recipe for Buffalo Wings broils fresh chicken before tossing with the hot sauce, rather than deep fat frying them.

Chicken wings are a mainstay menu item for parties, sporting events, and get-togethers. Original buffalo wings are crisp, tasty, and have a rich, spicy sauce to coat them. Unfortunately, buffalo wings also have a reputation for being very high in calories.

Preparing the Buffalo Wings

What makes them crispy is the help of a deep fat fryer. Some recipes call for them to be placed directly in the fryer to brown, or first coated with a little dusting of cornstarch prior to frying to make them extra crisp. The buffalo wing sauce has an important element in it, too, which is the butter. Believe it or not, butter has its purpose. It helps to temper the spiciness of the hot sauce, and as it melts it creates a rich sauce.

Professional chefs use cold but softened butter (not melted), which is placed in a big mixing bowl with the hot sauce. As the freshly cooked hot wings are placed in the bowl, everything is tossed around (they use both hands to toss the large bowl, similar to stir frying), and as the wings are being tossed in the bowl, the butter melts and creates a nice sauce that coats with wings.

This process is similar to creating a spicy butter sauce, or hot sauce beurre blanc in a bowl. A beurre blanc sauce is where butter is whisked into a liquid reduction, slowly melting it and creating the sauce.

This recipe uses much the same ingredients and techniques, except the wings themselves are broiled until browned, and cholesterol-free and trans-fat free margarine is used in place of the whole butter. This serves a lot, but can be reduced down to however many your are serving.

Better-For-You Original Buffalo Wings

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 lbs. fresh whole chicken wings
  • Canola or corn oil, for coating the wings prior to broiling
  • Salt and pepper
  • Favorite brand of buffalo sauce
  • About a pat or two of softened margarine, trans-fat free and cholesterol-free
  • Reduced-fat bleu cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks
  • Carrot sticks

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to the boiler setting, at 425 degrees. Place the rack in the oven at the second to the highest level.
  2. Take the chicken wings and slit the joints with a sharp Chef’s knife. Do this by opening the wing joint and find the center of the joint. Press down with both hands and the joint will split cleanly and easily. Cutting the joint at the bone will create fragments and will be tougher to cut. Discard the tips of the wings, and or reserve for making chicken stock at a later time.
  3. Place the chicken wings in a large mixing bowl. Add a little bit of vegetable oil in to drizzle over the top, and lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Toss all the wings to evenly distribute the seasoning and oil, to coat all sides.
  4. Lay out the chicken wings in an even layer on top of an oven-safe baking rack set over a baking sheet pan.
  5. Place in the oven, and broil for about 15 minutes, turning during broiling to brown all sides, and making sure all the wings are fully cooked. It will be helpful to leave the oven door slightly ajar so they can be watched, and to keep the broiler element on the entire time.
  6. While the chicken wings are cooking prepare the bowl for the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, place the buffalo wing hot sauce and a pat or two of softened, room temperature margarine (not melted but not rock hard, either). Reserve. Once the chicken wings have been fully cooked and are browned, place them all in the prepared mixing bowl. Shake the bowl to evenly toss the wings with the hot sauce and butter, or use a kitchen spoon or tongs to stir up the wings. The heat of the freshly broiled wings will end up melting the butter and create the sauce.
  7. Serve immediately with bleu cheese dressing, and celery and carrot sticks.

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