(Note: I wrote this yesterday, but then got wrapped up watching the game. Our Patriots lost 20-13. Might be the last time we will see Tom Brady in Gillette Stadium. Sad Day.)
Today (Saturday, January 4, 2020) is the start of the playoff season for the NFL. Our poor beleaguered Patriots still have a chance and they are going up against the Tennessee Titans at 8:30 EST. We intend to watch the game so we needed to equip ourselves with some “football snacks.” This means Buffalo Chicken Wings, and veggies to dip in Blue Cheese Dressing.
We went to the store intending on buying some pre-made wings. That was not happening. There were Bourbon Wings, Smoked Wings, Orange Honey Wings, Maple Sriracha Wings and on and on, but no plain unflavored wings. I said, “Enough, let’s just buy some plain raw chicken wings and make our own!”
So we go over to the meat section. Party wings are $7.00 a pound! What! There was a time when they could not give them away. Now, I guess, because a chicken only has two wings, and everyone wants buffalo wings, they are at a premium. We went to the butcher counter and found some a bit cheaper, but not much.
Most recipes call for frying the wings, but that is too much work, too much mess and too much unhealthy. Baking works just fine. You can get a really crispy coating by adding baking powder.
It happens because the addition of the baking powder raises the pH level in the chicken, allowing the peptide bonds in the skin to break down, thus letting the skin get more crisp and brown.
So here is what we did. Recipe for a delicious Blue Cheese Dressing follows.
3 pounds party style chicken wings or whole chicken wings that have been halved crosswise
1 tablespoon baking powder, do NOT use baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup hot sauce such as Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
4 tablespoons butter melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional to taste
celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for serving.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a non stick oven safe rack on top of the pan.
2. Place the chicken wings in a bowl. Add the baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
3. Toss to coat the chicken evenly with the baking powder and spices.
4. Place the wings on the rack in a single layer.
5. Bake for 35 minutes or until wings are light golden brown and crispy.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, cayenne (if using), salt and pepper to taste
7. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat evenly.
8. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
Blue Cheese Dressing
2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mash blue cheese and buttermilk together with a fork until mixture resembles large-curd cottage cheese. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and garlic powder until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.