A Wednesday Food Post: Buffalo Chicken Wings, Part II

When I blog about food, typically it has been on Mondays. But, Monday gave way to a book review and Tuesday – well, Tuesday, my Mom was on my mind so I wrote about her. But, my plan was to write a food post on Buffalo Chicken Wings on Monday.

This Sunday I experimented with making Buffalo Chicken Wings in our Instant Pot Air Fryer. This is an appliance I bought late last year but has not been fully explored. We’ve made chicken wings in it twice before. They are a food we do not buy or order here in restaurants because even though they are sold as Buffalo Wings….we have found they are not! The best Buffalo Chicken Wings are found in Buffalo, of course! We have our favorites and if you ask other Buffalonians, they will not be shy about sharing what their favorite wing joint (see what I did there) is either. Hands down for my husband and I are the wings from the original Duffs Restaurant and Sheridan Drive and Millersport Highway. The reason for our favoritism is that the heat is just right (medium is hot – as the menu states) and they are cooked to perfection! This means that the wings are NEVER chewy or soggy – which we find is a huge problem with wing lovers in the midwest – we find that the chicken wing skin not being super crisp (or undercooked) is very common here. And, we definitely do not like it. This became the reason for not ordering wings in our local restaurants….they just never measured up to Buffalo wings.

The air fryer does a pretty good job of making the wings crisp. I followed a recipe from the Food Network on making Buffalo Chicken Wings in the air fryer and it was pretty good, but not yet to the degree of crispness we came to appreciate while living in Buffalo for almost a decade.

One of the problems we’ve found with air fryer wings is that if you have more than a couple of people eating, you’ll be cooking in batches and for a good amount of time, as well. Who wants to cheer on their favorite team (Buffalo, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Minnesota Vikings) while tending to batch after batch of wings? I sure don’t. And, you cannot stuff the air fryer full of the wings because the air won’t circulate and fry the wings. So, when my husband went to our cabin for a few days, I got out the two pounds of wings (not frozen) I had purchased while grocery shopping this week. I was able to cook all 16 wings at once without crowding!

Cooking the wings was easy. While they fried, I warmed up the hot sauce. I believe that the inventors of the Buffalo Chicken Wing – The Anchor Bar, in Buffalo, New York – used Frank’s brand hot sauce. It is what we too have always used to make this iconic food. The recipe not only called for butter but a tablespoon of honey as well.

After frying the wings, and turning them according to the recipe directions, they got one last short burst of higher heat. I took them out and coated them with the hot sauce mixture. On the side of my portion of eight Buffalo Chicken Wings, I had raw carrots and blue cheese. And, this Buffalo gal NEVER serves or eats wings with ranch – this is another food faux pas that we cannot understand. Where did that even get started?! Blue cheese and celery is the typical accompaniment for Buffalo Chicken Wings.

I was pleased with my wings enough that I devoured them twice while my husband was away at our cabin. They still were not as crisp as I’d like but crispier than any I’ve even had in a restaurant here. And, that’s a major win! I also learned that two pounds of wings will fit our air fryer and is enough for a meal for two.

If you are interested in trying the same recipe, it can be found here.

Who serves your favorite wings? What do you like best about them? Do you make wings at home? An Inquiring mind (mine) wants to know!

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