Buffalo Chicken Wings

I’m sure many of you already know (or can at least deduce from the name) that these red-hot chicken wings originated in the great state of New York, city of Buffalo (my dad’s hometown). When my husband and I first married, we took a trip back east to spend Thanksgiving with my dad’s family. My husband, being a connoisseur of bar food, was determined to order Buffalo chicken wings in Buffalo, so my dad took us to one of his favorite local joints. We grabbed a pitcher of Genesee from the bar, and when the waiter came to take our order, my husband asked for a dozen wings. He, like me, can tolerate some pretty spicy food, but since we were in the birthplace of the hot wing, he decided to play it safe and order the medium spiciness. The waiter nodded for a second, then said in his thick New York accent, “I can tell you’re not from around here, so I’m gonna bring you a plate of mild wings, and if they’re not hot enough, just send them back and I’ll getcha the spicier ones.” Looking slightly offended, my husband agreed.

Now, I should mention that because it was the end of November, Buffalo was already in the throws of winter and had a metric boatload of snow on the ground. I also want to remind you that it was Thanksgiving weekend so the bar was packed when we arrived, and the only table available was right next to the front door. Every time someone came in or out of the bar, we were blasted with freezing air. Our seat was so cold, in fact, that my mom and I kept our coats and scarves on for the entire meal. My husband, whose body temperature had risen to atomic levels with the first bite, was completely immune to the cold. About three wings into his order he started sweating profusely, and after four wings, the layers of clothing started coming off. By his fifth wing he had stripped down to his undershirt and was taking frequent trips outside to (and I’m guessing here) stick his head in the snow. Just when it looked as if his hair was going to catch fire, the waiter returned to see if he was okay. My husband told him that he had never had wings that spicy before, and the waiter replied, “Then you’ve never been to Buffalo before.”

Here’s a photo of the old neighborhood we took during that trip:IMG_1347

Alright, back to business. Rather than mess with success and come up with my own variation of the Buffalo chicken wing, I decided to share with you the original recipe from Anchor Bar. The spice level on these wings is around a medium (and this is a true medium, not the stupid-hot medium we had that night), but you can alter the heat by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper you put in the sauce.


Buffalo Chicken Wings

Recipe from Anchor Bar

For the Wings:

  • 36 chicken wing and drumette pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Sauce:

  • 1 ½ tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp hot sauce (Frank’s is the brand used in Buffalo, but you could use Louisiana or Texas Pete as well)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter

For Serving:

  • celery sticks
  • blue cheese dressing


Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a large bowl toss the wings with the oil, and salt. Place chicken pieces into a large plastic shopping bag, and add the flour. Shake to coat evenly (you may need to work in two batches).IMG_1788

Remove wings and drumettes from the bag and shake off excess flour.IMG_1789IMG_1793

Spread flour-coated chicken pieces evenly on oiled foil-lined baking pans, being careful not crowd them. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pans from oven and turn the wings over, then cook another 20 minutes, or until the wings and drumettes are browned and cooked through.

While the wings are baking, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, and over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then remove pan from heat.

Once you remove the wings and drumettes from the oven, immediately transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the hot wings and toss with a spoon or spatula until all the chicken is coated evenly.

Transfer to a large platter, and (absolutely no exceptions here) serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the side.IMG_1901


One thought on “Buffalo Chicken Wings

  1. I was born in Buffalo and even though the Army has moved me away, I will always consider myself a Buffalonian…I can attest to your story…there is nothing quite like authentic Buffalo wings from good ol’ WNY!! Then again that could be said for a lot of local faves, LOL. Thanks for sharing your story and this great recipe! Hope all is well…


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