Is there anything better than crunchy, saucy, fall-off-the-bone chicken wings? The kind that is fried and served by the dozen in your favorite sports bar? I certainly did not think so. That is why, when I was asked to develop a recipe for Basically Buffalo Wings, I really could never have imagined that I could recreate almost as well at home. I thought the deck was stacked against me. They would become fried chicken wings certainly–I am the kind of person who prefers chopping 1000 tear-fat onions rather than frying something home. The fat that splashes around on your favorite shirt and / or cat, the smell that will not disappear for days, and after all that you have to think about how you can throw away a barrel of hot oil in the right way. No. Thanks. See the video. But after I had consulted a lot of recipes for fried chicken wings and lots of tests, I found myself wrong. With a bit of technology I could make a version of Buffalo wings that did not require frying, but that were as satisfying as the restaurant wings I know and love. Baking the chicken on a grid in a sheet pan helped a lot – it helped to circulate the hot air around the wings, making them more evenly cleaved without having to turn them halfway. And starting the wings at a low temperature, which could release fat in the chicken skin and evaporating the surface moisture before they were blown to a higher temperature, was the one-two thrust they needed to really crack. But it was the addition of a very unusual ingredient that really made the difference: baking soda. Ordinary old baking powder! By bringing just half a teaspoon of the stuff into the mixture of kosher salt, garlic powder and onion powder that I threw with the wings for baking, I pushed them over the edge, creating chicken skin that was uniformly brown and crunchy. Weird, right? A little baking powder goes in a looo way. Chelsie CraigMore Why it works. Baking salt is alkaline, so it increases the pH value of chicken skin, which breaks down the peptide bonds and accelerates the tanning process, which means that the wings are browner and crisp faster than they would have on their own. (If you feel better, we do not really get what that means, but it works!) The only challenge is that baking soda can have an intense and unpleasant taste when used in large quantities, so you can only get away with a very small amount. That meant that I had to figure out how to distribute half a teaspoon equal over three kilos of chicken wings. To solve? The inclusion in a larger amount of a simple dry rubbing, making it a breeze was spread. Science is cool! And so are Buffalo wings! And so it is to make them at home with a minimum of fuss, maximum crunchiness and no smashing cooking oil. Go and fry those wings!
Receive the recipe:
Basically Buffalo Wings