Buffalo Chicken Wings

Cooking With Heinen’s: Wings for the Big Game

Football watch parties are a great excuse to eat with your hands and the number one dish to eat with your hands during the Big Game is – drum roll, please – chicken wings.

Chicken wings conjure images of communal snacks and beers with friends, fingers stained with hot sauce, everyone sucking on fingers and tiny chicken bones for that last crispy morsel of tart-hot flavor. Buffalo wings are the perfect snack food; spicy, chewy bites with the accompanying cold/crispy celery and salty/creamy blue cheese dip. Are you ready for some football? And wings? I’ve got two methods to make them and both are delicious.

The first method is super easy. Because I don’t enjoy firing up a pot of hot oil and stressfully adjusting the burner so that the oil remains at a steady 350°F while there’s a party going on, I came up with a recipe for baked chicken wings. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they are simply tossed with Spicy Buffalo, Honey Hoisin, Citrus Pepper or Garlic Parmesan sauce. It’s a lower fat version that’s easily made at home. And if you line your baking sheets with heavy duty foil you may not even have to wash them. How’s that for easy?

Baked Chicken Wings

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes

Makes about 30 wings

You’ll love how easy it is to make these wings and they are gluten free, lower in calories and just as delicious as fried.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken wings, drumettes, wingettes or a mix of the two
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Lowry Seasoned Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Line two sheet pans with non-stick or heavy duty foil.
  3. Rinse the chicken wings, pat them dry with paper towels and divide them between the two pans. Divide the olive oil and garlic, between the two pans and toss the wings to coat them. Spread them out so that they don’t touch, season well with salt and pepper and bake the wings in the preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  4. When the wings are crispy, (it may take longer or shorter time in your oven) remove them from the oven. Some of the wings may be a little stuck to the foil so using tongs, gently pull them away from it and transfer them to a large bowl. Drizzle the sauce of your choice (see below) over the wings and toss them with tongs to coat. Serve the wings, hot, with lots of paper towels.

If you’re a wing purist and must have them fried, the recipe that follows will make you super happy. I fry them for a short time and then finish them in the oven to make the process easier and less time consuming but you still get that fried and lightly breaded exterior that super fans of wings have come to crave.

Fried Chicken Wings

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes

Makes about 30 wings

A deep fry thermometer is essential and you can pick one up at most grocery stores. They aren’t expensive and you’ll be so glad not to have to guess if the oil is hot enough. The two part cooking step here really does save you time since you don’t have to stand over a pot of hot oil monitoring all the wings until they are done, which would take twice as long hands on time.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken wings, drumettes, wingettes or a mix of the two
  • 1 teaspoon Lowry Seasoned Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying, about 5 cups
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Line two sheet pans with non-stick or heavy duty foil.
  3. Rinse the chicken wings and pat them dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour oil into a heavy 4-quart pot until it reaches 2-inches deep and attach a deep fry thermometer on the side of the pan so that the tip doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan but rests in the oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F and then turn the heat down to medium. You may have to adjust the heat a few times to keep the oil from getting too hot or too cold.
  5. While the oil is heating, blend the cornstarch and flour in a large bowl and dredge the wings, shaking off excess and lay them out on a sheet pan. Fry the wings in batches, about 10 at a time, until they are crispy and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pot or they will not cook efficiently. Transfer the not completely cooked wings to sheet pans and continue to cook the remaining wings in the same manner.
  6. Spread the wings out on the pans and bake in the preheated oven for another 15 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the wings to a large bowl, drizzle the sauce of your choice (see below) over the wings and toss them with tongs to coat. Serve the wings, hot, with lots of paper towels.

Now let’s make the wing sauces.

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