One of America’s Favorite – Buffalo Wings

April 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Posted in chicken, Food | 1 Comment
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A Buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally deep-fried unbreaded and then coated

in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo wings were created in Buffalo, New York. The residents of Buffalo generally refer to them as “wings” or “chicken wings” rather than “Buffalo wings.”
Cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the basis of the sauce. Buffalo wing sauce can be made with a variable amount of heat/spiciness, with the names of these sauces generally corresponding to the level of heat, such as mild, medium, or hot. Typically, the wings are deep-fried (although they are sometimes grilled or baked). The wings are usually fried in oil until they reach close to a golden brown color. They are then drained where they can either be placed in a bowl with sauce or seasoned with salt and pepper. Following this, one covers the bowl tightly and shakes to coat the wings. As an alternative to waiting to coat the wings until after they are cooked, one can also put seasoning over the wings in a sealed bag and shake them until they are coated evenly. Afterwards, the wings are arranged on a baking sheet and baked until they are cooked thoroughly. Wings can then be served dry with sauce on the side.

There are four different legends about how Buffalo wings came to be.

*The first story is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar by Teressa Lenz, who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her hungry guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.

*A second version, as told by Dominic Lenz (Frank and Teressa’s son) to The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980, stated: “It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again.” He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.

*The third version of the origin involved a mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar’s spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Lenz says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.

*The fourth version has nothing to do with the Lenz’s or the Anchor Bar. Calvin Trillin stated in his 1980 New Yorker article that a man named Daniel Gorsky also claimed credit for serving chicken wings in a special “mambo sauce”. Chicken wings in mambo sauce became the specialty at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. Young had registered the name of his restaurant, Daniel Gorsky’s Wings ‘n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.

Marketing materials for Frank’s RedHot claim that it was the hot sauce used in the Bellissimos’ original recipe.

Buffalo wings are used in competitive eating events, such as Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl and at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

The first mention of Buffalo wings on national television may have been on NBC’s Today show in the 1980s. Teressa Bellissimo cooked a batch before the camera, and mentioned that she was using a certain brand of hot sauce by name.[citation needed] Bryant Gumbel commented that the chicken wings looked like “drummies”. Increasingly, since the 1970s, restaurants were promoting an entree of the thicker first joint of the wing, calling them “chickies” or “drummies”, to people who wanted the flavor of traditional “southern fried chicken” in about ten minutes, versus the twenty minutes or more needed to properly fry the thicker breast, thigh, or drumstick portions of a chicken. The dish radically gained prominence nationally after the Buffalo Bills’ four consecutive appearances in the Super Bowl from 1990-1993 focused considerable media attention to the area for an extended period of time, giving Buffalo cuisine significant nationwide exposure. Clips showing cooks preparing the dish continues to be featured on nationally televised sporting events involving the Buffalo Bills and to a lesser extent the Buffalo Sabres.

The Travel Channel show Food Wars held a competition between Anchor Bar and local Buffalo rival Duff’s Famous Wings. Duff’s

A cook preparing Buffalo wings

narrowly won, with Duff’s wings considered to be spicier, while Anchor Bar’s was meatier and fried more well-done.

In “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri”, Buffalo vs. Chicago, the buffalo team made Buffalo Wings.

The appellation “Buffalo” is also now commonly applied to foods other than wings, including chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, shrimp and pizza that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or variations of it.

The flavor of Buffalo wings is replicated by a number of dishes. A common variation on the “buffalo” sauce flavor is found in potato chips produced by a number of different companies. Many of these “Buffalo Chips” also incorporate a simulated blue cheese flavoring to simulate the complete buffalo wing experience.

The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota serves a more esoteric take on buffalo-flavored food products with their “Buffalo Dog” available at concession stands inside the arena. The hot dog is topped with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and cole slaw in a unique combination of North Carolina-style slaw dogs and buffalo wings — neither dish is indigenous to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and despite buffalo wings’ ubiquity, slaw dogs are uncommon in the Twin Cities.

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