Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings

This recipe is inspired by the infamous Buffalo Wings.
There was a time when I very naively thought that buffalo wings came from buffaloes. Though I knew that buffaloes didn't have wings, and to my knowledge they didn't evolve from any species that could fly, I couldn't get the thought out of my mind. But that was before I ate it; when I realised it was chicken and also realised an even greater truth of the foolery in me. And then I realised that buffalo wings are called that only because it originated in Buffalo, New York.
Coming to think of it; why is Buffalo, the place, called Buffalo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While my family loves the hot and spicy wings coated in buffalo-wing sauce served at TGIF, I, unfortunately, couldn't get hold of the recommended Frank's Red Hot Sauce, in any supermarkets in Melbourne, to make the buffalo-wing sauce at home. The only alternate for me was to make a spicy sauce that could come as close to Buffalo Wings or could easily replace it at home.

I used chicken drumettes (because it is easy to nibble) and Tabasco sauce and Hot Chilli Sauce for the marinade and coating. But let me bail myself out of this: Tabasco is generally not preferred for wings because of its overpowering vinegary taste. So the challenge is to mix other ingredients to balance out the extreme sourness of this sauce. You also need a mild creamy sauce to serve, to counter the heat of the wings.

- The blue cheese dressing is quite bold which we generally do not like. Ranch dressing will be a perfect substitute.
- The drumettes were sticky and messy to eat and the the coating sauce was a mixture of hot, sour and sweet; more hot than sweet; definitely not for the faint hearted. This is a perfect accompaniment at the cocktail table or with a mug of cold beer or, as we like it, just by itself.

But for the lip-smacking Buffalo Wings, we still have to drive up to TGIF and my hunt for Frank's Red Hot Sauce in our supermarket aisles still continues.....

Makes: 12 drumettes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes + time to marinate
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

For Chicken
  • 12 chicken drumettes, with skin removed
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 3 pinch garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Water, as required 
  • Cooking oil, to fry chicken pieces
For the Coating Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp red chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp crushed pepper
  • 3 - 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • a dash of Chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp oil (add 1 more tbsp for that glistening shiny look)
  • Salt to taste
For Dipping Sauce
  • 30g blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Celery Sticks + Celery Leaves, to serve

1. Mix the dry ingredients "for chicken" and add water to form a thick paste. Marinate drumettes in this and leave in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight preferred). Deep fry chicken pieces until they are crispy and cooked through.
2. Mix all ingredients "for dipping sauce" until smooth.
3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients "for the coating sauce". Pour it on a pan kept over low flame. When it just starts to boil, add fried chicken pieces, coat well with sauce. Put on high flame and toss drumettes till sauce dries up (not completely dry) and coats the pieces well.

Serve hot, sprinkled with celery leaves with dipping sauce and celery sticks.

- To add more flavour to the coating sauce, add or substitute oil with 2 tbsp of butter.
- Replace blue cheese sauce with ranch dressing sauce.

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