Wings are the kind of comfort food I don’t eat often enough, but when I crave them, I can pack them away. They don’t require much of an introduction–all the wing lovers out there know just what I mean. This is the kind of food where you want to plop yourself down for awhile, make a sloppy mess of yourself, and just indulge. They’re (to use a terrible cliche) finger-licking good and incredibly easy to make.
While the traditional tabasco (or Frank’s red hot)-based buffalo sauce is good, I prefer what I consider a more interesting sauce. For this recipe, I opted for a tangy, sweet heat in the sauce with one of my favorite ingredients: sriracha. Combined with some other Asian flavors (ponzu–a citric soy sauce–and a dab of hoisin), you’ve got something just as easy to make and far more interesting than straight tabasco/cayenne pepper and vinegar (my two inspirations here).
As for the wings themselves, to me, if you’re making wings, I don’t entirely see the point of making them healthier by baking/roasting them with some particular song and dance to simulate the end result you get from deep-frying. Wings have fat, the sauce has fat, and the blue cheese dip has fat–its not like we’re going to drink the frying oil afterwards. As with all things indulgent, just don’t make a habit of eating these weekly and do yourself the favor of eating these the way they’re meant to be: deep fried. With crisp skin (perfect for holding onto that sauce) and a tender, meaty inside, you’ll be glad you did–I promise.
And as I’ve eluded to, an essential sidecar to wings: the dip. While these aren’t fiery in the spice department (unless you have a low tolerance, I suppose), having a cooling dip to counter the acidity from the wings is always a welcome foil. Blue cheese is a classic and it works beautifully here.
- ~3.5 lbs wings
- oil (I used roughly half a bottle of vegetable oil)
- Sriracha Sauce
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 1/4 cup cayenne-based hot sauce
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp ponzu sauce
- 1 tsp hoisin
- Blue Cheese Dip
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
Begin by preparing the sauce. This is ridiculously simple: in a bowl, whisk everything together. Feel free to make substitutions as necessary, but keep the proportions the same–you want heat, sweet, vinegar, and butter as they all play their part (e.g. the acid from the vinegar and the butter allow for the sauce to emulsify into one smooth texture). Set this aside.
Now, the dip. This is just as easy: mix everything together and whisk it. Some lumps will remain on account of the cheese, and that’s just fine. Set this aside for now (in the fridge).
Finally, onto the star of the show: the wings. This is as easy as everything else you’ve done so far. If the wings you’re cooking aren’t already separated, do so now. Save the tips for stock making and separate/chop the wings at the joint. Pat the wings dry with paper towels.
In a deep pot, heat up enough oil to submerge some of the wings. Don’t plan on doing them all at once–you’ll want to work in batches. If you dump everything in the oil at once, the temperature of the oil will drop and the frying will not go how you want it to. Heat the oil over medium heat (to roughly 350°F, if you have a thermometer), waiting for 5-10 minutes to ensure a steady temperature.
Now, time to get cooking. Carefully slide some of the wings into the pot–don’t overcrowd the pot. You don’t want to stack wings on top of one another–a single layer will do. Turn the wings once after about 5 minutes, deep frying for roughly 10 minutes total. Remove the wings with a slotted spoon and set them on a rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain while you continue frying batches of wings.
Once all of the wings are done frying, toss them in the hot sauce, doing your best to coat every piece all over. You should use up all of the sauce.
Finally, its time to dig in. Set out some of the blue cheese dip, a plate of wings, a pile of napkins, and a cold beer. Enjoy!