buffalo wings with blue cheese dip

buffalo wings
About 20 years ago I was seconded to the New York office of the UK company I worked for. I wish I could tell you that I spent my free time enjoying the art galleries and museums, and going to poetry readings. Sadly, I educated myself in low culture, exploring New York's nightlife with considerable enthusiasm. Some of my favourite watering holes sold bar snacks (all the better to make you drink more, not that I needed much encouragement), and one of my favourites was buffalo wings, named for the northern city they are supposed to have originated from.

While the "authentic" wings are coated with Frank's hot sauce, I have compromised using a mild-flavoured hot sauce with additional vinegar, and added a spice rub to the wings. Authentic or not, it tastes delicious. I have also discovered that the best way to get perfect crisp buffalo wings is not only to fry them, but to fry them twice (as with chips.)

No buffalos hurt in the making of this dish, etc, etc.


vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 kg chicken wings (trim the wing tips and cut in half, into "wingettes" and "drumettes")
60g butter
100ml Frank's Hot sauce or other mild-flavoured sauce (I used Dunn's River)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
half tsp sugar

spice rub
2 tsp light brown sugar
half tsp smoked paprika
half tsp onion powder
half tsp garlic powder
quarter tsp cayenne pepper

blue cheese dip/dressing
70g blue cheese, crumbled (I used Danish)
3.5 tbsp buttermilk or natural yoghurt
3.5 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
3.5 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
a pinch of sugar
half tsp garlic powder


  1. Make the blue cheese dip by combining the buttermilk (or yoghurt), mayonnaise and sour cream together with the lemon juice, sugar and garlic powder. Stir through the crumbled blue cheese and refrigerate while you prepare the wings.
  2. Prepare the wings by trimming the wing tips and then cutting in half. (I freeze the wing tips and use them to add extra flavour when I am making chicken stock).
  3. Rub the wings with the spice rub and set aside for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate for about 2 days in advance, but they will need to be at room temperature before cooking.)
  4. Heat the oil over a medium heat and carefully add the wing pieces. Raise the temperature to medium-high. It needs to reach a constant 110 to 130C - a gentle bubble. 
  5. Cook the wings for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. The wings will be cooked through but will not have browned. Transfer the wings to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain and to cool for at least 1 hour before further cooking. (You can refrigerate overnight, but they will need to be at room temperature for the next stage of cooking.)
  6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the hot sauce, vinegar and sugar. Stir well until the butter has melted. Keep warm while you cook the chicken.
  7. Bring the oil over a medium to high temperature, until it reaches 200C. Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. The temperature should be a constant 190 to 200C. The chicken is ready when it is crisp and a light golden brown. (You may need to cook the wings in batches).
  8. Transfer the wings with a slotted spoon or "spider" and add to the butter sauce.
  9. Serve the chicken while hot with blue cheese dip and slices of raw celery. (You're ready to cook up the next batch of chicken!)


Bintu Hardy said...

If I found myself in New York I would do exactly what you did.

Stacy Rushton said...

I call that time well spent, Rachel! Clearly it was all valuable research for such future posts as this. I love that your blue cheese dip has visible chunks of blue cheese in it. So often, the blue cheese flavor is but a mild hint and that is just not enough for me.