foods and cuisines

Buffalo wings | The taste of temptation

A Buffalo wing in American cuisine is an unbreaded chicken wing section (flap or drumette) that is generally deep-fried, then coated or dipped in a sauce consisting of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter prior to serving. They are traditionally served hot, along with celery sticks and carrot sticks, and a dip of blue cheese dressing or, primarily outside of New York, ranch dressing. Buffalo wings are named for Buffalo, New York, where they were invented, and have no relation to the animal. They are often called simply chicken wings, hot wings, or just wings.

Buffalo wings have gained in popularity in the United States and abroad, with some North American restaurant chains featuring them as a main menu item. The name “Buffalo” is now also applied to other spiced fried foods served with dipping sauces, including boneless chicken wings (made from chicken breast meat rather than a chicken wing, chicken fries, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, shrimp, and cauliflower. It is also used for other dishes, such as pizza, that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or a Buffalo flavor seasoning.

Alternative names Buffalo chicken wings
Chicken wings
Course Appetizer, main course
Place of origin United States
Region or state Buffalo, New York

Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Chicken wing
Cayenne pepper hot sauce
Butter
Food energy
(per serving)
90–110 kcal

Preparation of Buffalo wing

Chicken

The chicken wings used for Buffalo wings are usually segmented into three parts: drumette, flat, and flapper or pointer, the last of which is usually discarded, although some restaurants serve them with this latter part still connected to the flat. Traditionally, the wings are deep-fried in oil, without breading or flour until they are well browned. Alternatively, they may be baked, grilled, or broiled.

Sauce

Cayenne pepper-based hot sauce, melted butter, and vinegar are the standard base of Buffalo wing sauce, which may be made mild, medium, or hot. Other ingredients are also common, although less dominant, such as Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Commercial ready-to-use wing sauce is made with varying levels of spiciness. The cooked chicken wings are placed in a bowl or pot and shaken to coat the wings completely covering them in sauce before serving.
Service
Buffalo wings with garlic dip and celery, along with a glass of Coca-Cola.

Traditionally, Buffalo wings are served with small sticks of celery (accompanied sometimes with baby carrots or carrot sticks), and blue cheese dipping sauce on the side. Ranch dressing, however, is the most popular wing dipping sauce in the United States. These sides act not only as a dip but as cooling elements for those eating particularly spicy wings: the fat content of the dips acts as a solvent and takes away the hydrophobic capsaicin when swallowed, otherwise it would cling to the tongue and maintain the burning sensation.

Why are they called “buffalo” wings?

One of the most popular bar snacks in the U.S. was actually born in a small bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Without the Anchor Bar and the ingenuity of its owner (she wanted to re-purpose leftover cooked wings to feed her family), many a game day, bar-hopping American would likely never know you could combine crispy wings bathed in sweet-hot sauce.

How to make extra-crispy wings:

The key to perfect crispness is putting the wings on a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet. The rack allows air to circulate underneath the wings and allows for even cooking. Just give yourself plenty of time! Depending on the size of the wings, they’ll need between 50 to 60 minutes in the oven before being sauced.

Can I make these ahead of time?

You can cook and refrigerate the wings (without the sauce) up to 3 days ahead of time. When ready to re-crisp, place them on a rack set in a baking sheet, and cook them in a 400° oven for about 10-15 minutes. Then sauce them and proceed with the final recipe step.

Can I make these in the air fryer?

Absolutely! Check out our recipe for air fryer wings if you just can’t get enough of the magic air fryer.