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Super Bowl Snack: Finger-Licking, Crispy Spicy Chipotle Buffalo Wings

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Finger-Licking, Crispy Spicy Chipotle Buffalo Wings. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Finger-Licking, Crispy Spicy Chipotle Buffalo Wings. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

If you happened to read my last chicken wing post you’ll know that I’m a chicken wing fan. To me, the perfect wings have a terrific ratio of tender morsels of meat to crispy-chewy skin, lovingly coated in some kind of well-balanced tangy sauce. I also like chewing on bones. And because they are small, they make a great snack, especially when you are kicking back with friends—perhaps watching sports—and drinking plenty of beer (something has to cool down all that spiciness!).

This version takes its cue from classic Buffalo wings—vinegar-laced, salty, and extra spicy—but with an added smoky kick from the chipotle chiles. Making your own sauce might seem like a lot of work, but it’s quick, can be made up to 3 days in advance, and is sooooo worth it.

Fry and sauce the chicken wings up to 2 hours in advance, and serve these warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: Chipotle Buffalo Wings

Serves 6–8

  • 1 tbsp canola oil, plus 1 quart for frying
  • 1⁄2 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping tbsp. minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 1–2 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup lager-style beer
  • 3 tbsp medium-spicy hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 lbs medium chicken wings and/or drummettes
  • 1 cup rice flour (I used white)
    To serve:
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks

  1. In a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 tbsp of the oil until hot. Add the onion and celery and cook until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, adobo sauce, tomato paste, and sugar, and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes more. Pour in the beer, hot sauce, and vinegar and stir and scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Set aside until ready to use (the sauce can be cooled to room temperature, transferred to an airtight container, and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week in advance).
  2. Rinse the wings in a colander set in the sink and let drain for 15 minutes. Dry the wings well with paper towels. Pour the rice flour into a shallow bowl. Add the wings and toss to evenly coat.
  3. Fill a Dutch oven with about 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325F. In batches, fry the wings, knocking off any excess rice flour before adding them to the pot. Fry until golden brown, turning, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, bring the reserved sauce to a boil and cook for about 1 minute, or until slightly reduced. Add the wings and toss together to coat with the sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve with the blue cheese dressing and celery sticks on the side.
Finger-Licking, Crispy Spicy Chipotle Buffalo Wings. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Finger-Licking, Crispy Spicy Chipotle Buffalo Wings. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend


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