National Chicken Wing Day

Hard to imagine now but before the mid-sixties, chicken wings were relegated to be used for making chicken stock or soup flavoring. With meager bits of meat and no popular cooking methods they were toss-away portions of the bird. But something happened in Buffalo, New York that made their city known for a new appetizer that has grown to an entire main course and foundation for far-flung restaurant franchises.

Though disputed by several establishments, the popular story is that Terressa Bellissimo of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo had the inspiration to deep fry some wings she had on hand and toss them in hot sauce and butter for her son and friends who unexpectedly showed up late for drinks and were hungry. However it came about, it has changed the food universe. Today you can find endless variations on the theme with thousands of sauce options from dozens of world cuisines and different cooking methods, but here is my go-to classic:

Melt 4 Tablespoons butter and blend with 1/2 cup Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce, 2 Tablespoons Tabasco Sauce (more or less to taste), 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar and 2 teaspoons cider vinegar. Place in bottom of large bowl and set aside.

Heat peanut oil in your deep fryer or in a large Dutch Oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 Tablespoons corn starch. Place 18 wing parts -wingtips removed and separated into two parts at joint (about 3 pounds) in another large bowl and toss with spice mixture.

Carefully put coated chicken wings (work in batches if necessary) into hot oil. Let cook about 10 to 12 minutes until golden and crispy and remove, letting oil drip off. Place into bowl with hot sauce and toss to coat. Remove, letting excess drip off.

Serve immediately, with carrot sticks, celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping. Yeah, they have oven backed and air fryer versions you can find online, but there is nothing quite like the decadent original! Enjoy and repeat as necessary!

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

#ATOBTTR update – Oh, I’m worried about you, my dear Cincinnati Reds. Yes, you won the Rockies series and that is great, but the trade deadline looms and you are not going on a necessary streak. With the very even division, you have a chance to fulfill my prophecy of a Championship Season. Here’s hoping management keeps the important pieces together to give you a shot at it. Now, go beat those Bucs! Go Reds!

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