I’ve never understood what is so hard about making a decent plate of Buffalo wings (which, for the record, are not called “Buffalo” wings in Buffalo). If you go farther east than Syracuse or farther south than Erie, suddenly a fog descends over your mind and you can’t figure out how to replicate a simple delicacy? What is wrong with you???
Please, for the love of every WNY-er that has moved out of state, the rest of you have got to get it together. There is a responsibility to do it right if your restaurant is going to have Buffalo Wings on the menu. I will track you down, try them, and give you an earful about what you are doing wrong. So to be pre-emptive, take note. This is so EASY, and Buffalonians get really pissed off if you fuck up our favorite food. If you have anything to do with people who sell wings, share this with them!
1. Get the biggest wings you can find. Don’t make me wonder if you raise pigeons for this purpose. And do not give me the wing all in one piece. You need to break it in half so there is a wing and a drumstick. This is important because if you properly coat the wings, trying to break this up is just going to fling hot sauce in my eye. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Big wings. Don’t insult me.
2. The sauce is crucial, but so very simple. Don’t cock it up with extra ingredients – you only need two. Frank’s Red Hot and melted butter. Truly, that’s it. The Frank’s gives it the correct flavor and the varying amount of butter will regulate your heat level. It also helps the sauce get that nice radioactive orange color. When I first moved south I could not find Frank’s and had to make due with Texas Pete. I am happy to say Frank’s is now below the Mason-Dixon Line. You will be tempted to add something like pepper flakes or honey or BBQ sauce but if you do, don’t call it Buffalo sauce. If you deviate I must disown the sauce and shame you for your sin of pride. The first Buffalo wings I got in this area were covered in BBQ sauce. I can’t tell you how horrified I was. Fifteen years later and that incident still haunts me.
3. Don’t give me the sauce on the side, that is ridiculous. The sauce goes in a big stainless steel bowl, you dump the wings in and you toss to coat. Then pour the steaming hot mess into a basket without inhaling while standing over it, unless you want your nose to start running. These are supposed to be messy, so don’t skimp on the sauce or the napkins. Better yet, set out a roll of paper towels. Successfully coated wings will make sauce drip down your arms and get all over your face. Fancy people in white clothing should never eat Buffalo wings.
4. Buffalo wings are served with a side of celery sticks. Don’t even ask if I want them, it’s not an option. The only choice I get in this meal is how hot I want the sauce and if I want ranch or blue cheese with the celery. The celery helps cancel some of the heat and helps us feel like we actually ate something healthy. Even if I choose not to eat the celery, it needs to show up in the wing basket.
Is that so hard? I think not.
And for the record, Buffalo Wild Wings is not a good representation of anything related to Buffalo. You want good wings in Buffalo, go to a bar.