No carb buffalo wings. Chicken wings baked in the oven until crispy and then slathered with buffalo sauce. Works for keto and paleo diets.
Are buffalo wings more American than barbecue wings?
I pondered this question as I debated which kind to make for my Super Bowl wings blog post. Ultimately, I decided that buffalo sauce is both marginally more American than barbecue sauce, and definitely more appropriate for the Super Bowl. Because hot wings are more…manly? Hot chilli peppers dissolved in vinegar and all that.
A friend revived last year’s Super Bowl email thread which contained a summary of my understanding of how American Football is played. It is a bit simplistic, but I have reproduced it here:
Each team tries to move a misshapen ball to the opposing team’s side and through their goal post before the opposition manages to murder the player with the “ball” by hurling themselves at the poor chap with the ball all at once, resulting in a massive body pile up. You get points for surviving these attempts on your life and getting the ball to the other side. The team with the most points wins. However, both teams take many scheduled breaks from the murdering to catch their breath, swap players, or allow television channels to show viewers at home advertisements.
My understanding of the sport has not changed since. I also enjoy the fact that American football is played wearing more body armour than US soldiers are outfitted in as they go in to raid buildings allegedly housing notorious terrorist bigwigs. I mean, you won’t catch rugby players wearing full kevlar armour on the field.
It’s not all hate though. When Gronkowski is not too busy fighting off the opposition, he can be quite charming. But then, I’m biased in favour of the New England Patriots. And of course, if you are from Boston, you love Tom Brady. I think that is on the super-secret, informal test to qualify as a New Englander. Each year, on the day of the Super Bowl, I set aside my apathy for the sport and go to a Super Bowl party and back my side. I don’t want to jinx it, but the Pats have generally done pretty well in the recent past.
My favourite part about the Super Bowl though is the food. Nachos loaded with meat topped with cheese that stretches almost a foot as you pull a single chip out. Mmmm. Artichoke-spinach dip. Messy, messy wings. Fake-crab tartlets. Stuffed mushrooms. I eat a lot on Super Bowl night. Good thing it happens only once each year.
Once again, the trick to getting crispy wings instead of soggy wings swimming in a cesspool of grease is to elevate the chicken on a baking/cooling rack inside the baking tray.
- 1 lbs chicken wings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- ground pepper, to taste
- ½ - ¾ cup purchased buffalo sauce
- Blue cheese dressing, to serve
- Celery sticks, to serve
- Position a rack so that it is in the top-third of your oven. Pre-heat your oven to 450 F (230 C).
- Put all the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Pat the wings somewhat dry using paper towels. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl and using your hands, mix well so that the seasonings are well-distributed over all the pieces. The mixing step should not take more than 1 minute. Wash this bowl and dry it with drain the water well. You will need it again to coat the chicken in the buffalo sauce.
- Place a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and give it a quick spray with non-stick spray (or wipe down with a bit of olive oil on a paper towel). Spread the wings out on the baking sheet in a single layer with the skin side-up, leaving a bit of room around each piece for the air to circulate. Bake for 25 minutes for small wings, or 30-35 minutes for large wings. The wings are done when they are golden brown and the edges are a bit crispy.
- Allow the chicken to cool on the rack for 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the large bowl. Drizzle in the sauce. Use a wide spatula (or two of them) to toss the wings gently so the sauce coats each piece. Don't use tongs as you may damage the nice skin. Add more sauce as needed.
- Serve with blue cheese dressing, celery sticks, and if over the age of 21, a nice cold glass of beer.