19 August, 2019
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It’s time. It’s finally here. Real chicken wing hours. I’ve been promising this post for months now. Better late than never.
I remember the whos, whats, whens, and wheres of my first favorite buffalo wing. I was 15 years old and just played guitar for my high school’s jazz band at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC. We all met up at Cristo’s for lunch after our brunch-time set. I don’t know what convinced me to order wings but I did. They were crispy, tangy, a little spicy, and perfectly contrasted by the cool, creamy blue cheese they were served with. It was my first love. Anytime I went out to eat after that, I’d beg my family or friends to go anywhere I could get wings. So I learned how to cook them. Then I really learned how to cook them. Then I learned about boneless wings. THEN I perfected everything about making them. And now it is hands down the most requested food I make.
Wings are a form of art in my eyes and my passion for them not only lies in cooking them perfectly, but also in the sauces. Whether it is a Hot Ones style lineup of sauces that range from 3k to 2 mil scovilles (as seen in our Fuego Box Review) or something that I whip up in the kitchen, the sauce is just as important as the wings you’re putting it on. I’m covering a bit of both here so let’s get started.
Are you squeamish? I am. Surprising considering how clumsy I am. The worst part of making bone-in wings to me is separating the wings. I don’t like it, don’t want to do it, don’t want to break the joints or hear it or feel it…none of it. I want no part of it. However, it is unacceptable to use frozen, already separated wings so I either suck it up or ask someone else to do it for me. You can usually find someone to help if there’s free wings in it for them.
I do not bread them and I beg you to also not bread them (save that for the boneless boys). Cooking wings like this kind of varies depending on what you want to do with them afterwards. For a traditional style buffalo wing, fry them at 375 degrees for 6-7 minutes then toss them in buffalo sauce (recipe below) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Personally, I fry them at 375 degrees for about 12-15 minutes then toss them in the sauce of my choosing. Either method works, just make sure to rinse and pat dry before frying!
Do you have a pack of chicken breasts, some flour, and a stocked spice rack? Perfect, you have everything you need to make these. I became obsessed with boneless wings after frequenting East Coast Wings nearly a decade ago…and I’d still eat there everyday if I lived closer than 6 hours to one.
I use chicken breasts for this. You can use tenderloins if you have them on hand (I do sometimes) but I have found that breasts turn out more flavorful and moist…giggity… The make-or-break part to making these is the seasoning you put in the flour. You can definitely modify it to fit your tastes but this recipe is simple and delicious, tried and true! Cut your chicken into 1 1/2 – 2 inch cubes, rinse and pat dry. Dip them in an egg mixture then roll them in the flour mixture. Fry for 6-7 mins or until breading is golden brown at 350 degrees either in a deep fryer or in about 3″ of oil in a pot (just like the bone-in wings).
Here are some of my favorite sauces to make. You can pick up premade sauces at the grocery store and add your favorite hot sauce to them (like the Thai Satay with sriracha pictured above) or you can easily experiment and whip up some weird mixtures. I always add a few drops of Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper to my sauces to match my preferred heat level. Get creative and get lost in the sauce!