Hot wings, Buffalo wings, chicken wings, or just wings — whatever you call ’em, they are an original American snacking phenomenon that has taken “wing” across the country.
An estimated 1.2 billion of ’em are served on Super Bowl Sunday for game day grub, according to people who track that sort of thing.
Back in 1964, chicken wings were basically throwaway parts until inspiration hit Teressa Belissimo, who owned a small restaurant in Buffalo, New York. She created Buffalo wings by deep frying trimmed, non-breaded chicken wings, adding a mixture of melted butter and Frank’s RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce, and serving them up with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks. (The dressing and celery sticks helped curtail the burn.)
Teressa’s Buffalo wings have become so popular that every year on Labor Day weekend, her hometown hosts the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
Hot Buffalo wings are probably one of the spiciest of finger foods. According to chef Bobby Flay, a perfect hot wing is crispy but not overcooked, has a vinegary hot burn coating counterbalanced with a bit of sweetness, and must be eaten with bleu cheese dressing (instead of ranch dressing) to soothe the heat.
Whether served as an appetizer or main course, there are many variations and recipes to prepare hot wings: deep fried, pan fried, baked, breaded, barbecued, grilled, spicy, smoked, boneless. I personally prefer using just the little drumstick part (drumettes) and using the rest of the chicken wing for making chicken stock, but some people use the whole wing.
If you are planning a Super Bowl Sunday with some game day grub, try some original American finger food — homemade hot wings. I’ve pulled this hot wings recipe from my family cookbook, and it is a winner every year no matter what team is playing:
Super Bowl Hot Wings Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken drumettes
- ½ stick butter, melted
- ¼ cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce®
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Wash and clean drumettes & set aside to drain
Blend all other ingredients a few seconds to make a smooth sauce.
Place chicken into a plastic bag with about half of the sauce and massage the sauce into the wings.
Seal bag and marinate 30 minutes. Remove chicken and toss any extra marinade.
Cook wings your preferred way (I like to fry or broil) until just golden brown.(Make sure center near bone is cooked and not pink, and adjust heat accordingly.)
Drain off oil and place in large bowl. Toss with remaining sauce and serve with Best Bleu Cheese Dressing (recipe below), and any combination of celery, zucchini or cucumber sticks.
Best Bleu Cheese Dressing
- 2 1/2 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients together and let sit a few hours to meld the flavors. Great on salad, but wonderful with hot wings, too.
Have a great Super Bowl Sunday! May the best team win!
(P.S. If you are not a football fan, use the game time to add more recipes to your cookbook, recipe file, or recipe cards.)
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