I’m going to give it to you straight: the only reason I care about the big game is that it means food. Baseball is my favorite sport, followed very closely by soccer. Football is a sport I don’t think I’ll ever understand, nor do I ever care to. Food, though? Food is something I care a great deal about, so if it involves eating, I’m there. This Buffalo Wing Platter is a game day staple. But I have no idea why. Seriously, it’s not like you can eat wings while playing football. I guess the caveman-like way they’re consumed makes them a “manly” kind of food. Whatever the history behind why buffalo wings and football are a thing, I want to share my version of the game day classic.
My kiddos have never been “normal,” which is evident in the fact that, while they love blue cheese dip in this recipe, they don’t like spicy buffalo wing sauce. So, I’m giving you wings two ways. One gets a toss in a sweet-spicy garlicky sauce, and one is simply breaded. The blue cheese dip is made a day or two in advance to optimize its flavor. If you are planning for a busy day, the buffalo sauce can be made ahead, as well.
Isn’t a Buffalo Wing a chicken wing?
Kind of, but not really. A chicken wing is like your arm and hand. On the contrary, buffalo wings are like eating the upper arm and forearm. I mean, that’s if we were cannibals.
So, chicken wings are the whole wing. But buffalo wings are the individual drumettes and flats. The drumette is the meatier part that looks like a drumstick. Whereas the flat (or wingette) is the lower part of the wing- closest to the tip- the best thing ever made. Can you tell I like flats?
You want a marriage made in heaven? Marry you someone who likes the opposite part of the wing. That’s good marital advice there. Don’t worry, that’s free.
Why not buy wings that are already cut?
Even though a buffalo wing is part of the chicken wing, that doesn’t mean you have to buy them already separated. I’m a woman who appreciates efficiency, but I appreciate my money more.
During a trip to the grocery store to pick up wings for this recipe, I discovered why breaking down wings at home is the way to go. The pre-cut wing sections in my grocer’s meat case were $3.89 a pound. But the whole wings were $1.89 a pound.
Two dollars more!?!? You think I’m about to pay two dollars more for something I can do with a knife and 5 minutes? Pssssht!! You better ask somebody.
How do I cut chicken wings for this Buffalo Wing Recipe?
Remember how I said that the chicken wing is very much like our arm? Well, grab the tip of the wing- which would be the “wrist.” See the crook of the joint? That’s what you need to cut through to separate it from the flat (or the forearm). Do that, then discard the tip. There’s no meat on it, so it’s a waste of energy to bother with it.
Move up the wing to “V”- or the “elbow” joint- and cut through it to separate the flapper from the drumette.
Now you tell me: was that “two-dollars-a-pound-more” hard? I didn’t think so. I hope from here on out, you’ll buy your wings whole and save the dough.
Put the wing pieces into a larger bowl and prepare for an important announcement.
Do I have to season chicken for Buffalo Wings?
Do you have to breathe air to live? That’s how silly the notion of not seasoning your chicken is to me.
I don’t know why wing places hate to season their wings, but I’m about tired of it. It’s so disappointing to have a craving for wings, only to take a big bite and taste absolutely nothing but the sauce they’re doused in. Salt and pepper are acceptable to use- I promise.
In a prep bowl, combine kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Sprinkle this wing seasoning over the chicken and toss them thoroughly to coat. After seasoning the wings, let them marinate for no less than 1 hour. If you have the time, marinate them for 24 hours.
Hell! You can season wings when you get home from the grocery store and freeze them for 6 months and have them only a thaw away. A minimum of an hour is recommended, though.
This is enough seasoning for three pounds of wings. If you’re making a large number of wings, double the amount of seasoning mix. While the chicken is marinating in the spice blend, make the Blue Cheese Dip.
What do I need to make the Blue Cheese Dip for the Buffalo Wing Platter?
My Blue Cheese Dip is not a “standard” one.
Weirdly enough, our twins prefer to eat their wings with blue cheese dip instead of ranch. I don’t know many kids who prefer blue cheese over ranch, which is why I think it’s weird.
I make my blue cheese dip before frying the wings. Most dips and dressings need at least a 1/2 hour of chill time to allow the different flavors to meld together. If you make the dip before frying the wings and making the buffalo wing sauce, it’ll have plenty of chance to develop: flavor-wise.
I just use a quality blue cheese, one that is pretty pungent in flavor. To me, there’s really no point in splurging on a funky Roquefort or stilton if I’m just going to mix it with other things. Save the “stanky” cheeses for cheeseboards.
You also need the juice from half a lemon juice, garlic, chives, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, buttermilk, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Is there a low-fat version?
Many dips have either a mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream base. Mine has sour cream as its base, but if you’re watching calories…while you eat fried wings…dipped in a butter sauce with sugar…then, by all means, replace it with Greek yogurt.
Buttermilk is already low in fat, so you don’t need to worry about replacing that.
How do I make the Blue Cheese Dip?
Add the sour cream to a mixing bowl. Next, add the chives, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Use a rubber spatula to stir all these into the sour cream base until smooth.
Next, crumble the blue cheese into the sour cream, then fold it in gently.
If you love blue cheese as much as we do, leave it chunky. If you’re only learning to love it, crumble it a bit finer. You can even cut the amount of cheese you use by half.
Finally, add the buttermilk to thin the dip, and you’re done! Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic film and allow those flavors to marry in the fridge while you make the buffalo wing sauce, or at least 30 minutes.
You can make this Blue Cheese Dip up to one week ahead and store it in the fridge in a covered container.
What do I need to make the Buffalo Wing sauce?
My buffalo sauce is a bit unorthodox in that it has a sweet-garlicky flavor. Unorthodox is always a good thing. This wing sauce is spicy but sweet- kinda like me.
To make it, you need brown sugar, which tempers the cayenne and the red pepper flakes in the sauce (dark or light brown works, but I prefer dark). You’ll also need unsalted butter, more lemon juice (just use the other half of the lemon), and a few cloves of garlic.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves to the pot and allow it to cook for a minute- just long enough to coax out its aroma.
Add the lemon juice, then whisk everything together. Bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in the hot sauce and stir the brown sugar into the mixture, as well.
Finally, add the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, then whisk everything together.
Bring the sauce up to a simmer and allow this to cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently. You want to reduce the sauce a tad. It doesn’t need to be thick. Instead, you want it to have the consistency of syrup.
Once the sauce has finished simmering, keep it warm on the stove until you’re ready to toss your wings in it.
If you are making this ahead, you can pull it from the stove, allow it to cool, and store it in a jar in the fridge for up to one week. When you’re ready to toss your wings (or tenders or whatever else you want to coat in it), just warm it on the stove until it is steaming.
I’m not a fan of spicy sauce. How do I make plain wings?
Like I said before, the twins don’t like spicy foods, so I just bread their wings and fry them without tossing them in the sauce.
To give the wings a crisp exterior, though, combine all-purpose flour and cornstarch together in a mixing bowl. Adding cornstarch to the flour gives the breading a lighter, crisper crunch after frying. You can also leave the wings completely naked and skip the breading altogether.
When I’m making wings with a breading, I don’t fry them first. Instead, I set up the breading so that once I start frying the wings, I can move from frying the buffalo ones to frying these with no pauses in between.
Whenever you’re frying anything, fry the messier things last. Because the sauced buffalo wings won’t have a breading, fry those first.
What’s the best oil to fry Buffalo Wings in?
Peanut oil is best for deep-frying anything. Lard is the second best. But, vegetable oil is the oil most folks use at home.
Whichever you prefer, heat it to 375°F (190°C) in a cast iron dutch oven or a deep fryer. Once the oil reaches temperature, carefully add 5-6 wings to the hot oil.
Now’s also a good time to preheat your oven to warm. That way, you can keep your cooked wings warm while you fry the rest.
How long do I fry the wings?
Fry the wings for 8-9 minutes. The wings will let you know when they’re done. They’ll begin congregating together and rising to the top. Trust the timer, though.
Once the frying time elapses, use a spider or tongs and remove the wings from the oil. Lay them onto the cooling rack/draining set-up.
To fry breaded wings: toss them into the flour-cornstarch mixture. Put the coated wings into a sieve to remove excess flour. You can also just shake them well by hand. Excess flour burns faster in the oil, which then imparts an acrid flavor to the wings.
Let the wings sit in the sieve until you’re ready to fry. This dries out the breading, which makes for a crispier wing.
Slip the wings carefully into the oil fry them for 9-10 minutes.
After cooking, remove the wings from the oil to the draining rack before putting them in the oven to keep warm.
Can I air-fry the Buffalo Wings?
If you are watching your fat intake, air-fry the wings.
Set the temperature on your air fryer to 375°F. Ensure the knob is on the “Air Fry” setting, then set the timer for an hour or longer. My air fryer will shut off after the timer goes off, so I use it only to keep the fryer on. To monitor the actual cooking time of the wings, though, I use my phone’s timer.
Arrange the wings in a single layer on the air fryer tray, ensuring the wings aren’t crowded together. The air in the fryer needs to circulate freely around the meat.
Air fry the wings on the first side for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the wings over with a pair of tongs and fry them on the second side for 4 minutes. Transfer the wings to the warm oven to keep them hot.
I’m trying to cut down on fat. Can I bake Buffalo Wings?
If you prefer to bake your wings, simply arrange the wings in a single layer on a lightly greased sheet pan.
Bake the wings in a pre-heated 400°F (204°C) for 15-18 minutes, or until crisped and cooked through.
When do I toss the wings in the Buffalo sauce?
Once all of your wings have been fried, transfer the wings you want to coat in the buffalo sauce to a bowl using a clean pair of tongs.
Pour some of the sauce over the wings, then carefully toss the wings in the sauce. After you’ve tossed the wings in the sauce, you can return them to the oven to crisp them up or just serve them as is.
How do I assemble the Buffalo Wing Platter?
To serve the wings: line a sheet pan or platter with parchment paper and arrange the wings in a pile.
Obviously, carrot and celery sticks have to be included. Serve any leftover buffalo wing sauce on the side—the naked wing-lovers like dipping theirs in the wing sauce sometimes.
Transfer the blue cheese dip to a serving bowl, which I nestle in the middle of the melee. You can also serve ranch- if you have guests who don’t have as a refined a palate as yours- bless ’em.
What goes well with this Buffalo Wing Platter?
If you want to make this a party party, add these dishes to the game-day buffet table:
How do I store leftovers?
Transfer any leftover wings to a food storage container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat cold wings, just heat them in a microwave or a preheated 300°F (149°C) oven until warmed through.
You can also freeze leftover wings. Just pop them into a freezer storage bag and freeze them for 4 months. Thaw the frozen wings overnight in the fridge and reheat throughout in the microwave or oven.
Enjoy your game-day festivities. I’m sure if your friends are anything like ours, there’ll be loads of trash-talking, beer-guzzling, and wing-gorging. Pin this recipe for easy shopping and share it with your world!
Buffalo Wing Platter with Blue Cheese Dip
- dutch oven or deep fryer
- 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) chicken wings drumettes and flappers separated (see post)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Blue Cheese Dip
- 1 cup (245 grams) sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons (7 grams) chives minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon (reserve the remaining half for the sauce)
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1/4 pound (115 grams) blue cheese crumbled or more to taste
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from the remaining lemon half
- 1 12 oz bottle (354 milliliters) Franks RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (not "wing" sauce)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch black pepper
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
Frying and Serving
- vegetable or peanut oil (for frying)
- carrot sticks optional
- celery sticks optional
Season the Wings (begin 1 hour ahead)
- Place the wing sections into a large mixing bowl.In a separate, small prep bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, and the garlic powder.
- Sprinkle the wing seasoning over the wings, then toss to coat them thoroughly. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the wings to marinate for at least 1 hour- and anywhere up to 24 hours- before frying.
Prepare the Blue Cheese Dip
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, chives, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the blue cheese to the sour cream mixture and fold it in gently.
- Stir in the buttermilk to thin the dip to your desired consistency. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dip to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.*
- Just prior to serving, taste the dip and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed. The dip will thicken as it sits, thin it with a bit more buttermilk if you wish.
Prepare the Buffalo Sauce
- In a 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, hot sauce, brown sugar, pepper flakes, salt, and the black pepper. Bring this mixture up to a gentle simmer and allow the sauce to cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Reduce the sauce slightly- until it is the consistency of syrup. Avoid boiling the sauce.Once the sauce has finished simmering, keep it warm on the stove until you're ready to toss the wings in it.**
Deep-Fry the Chicken Wings
- Pre-heat your oven to warm for later to keep the wings hot after you've finished frying them. Place a cooling rack over sheetpan for draining the fried wings on.
- In a dutch oven, or a pot large enough to fry in, heat the vegetable oil to 375°F (190°C). Begin frying the wings in batches- 5 or 6 at a time- for 8-9 minutes.
- Once the wings have finished frying, use a spider or tongs to remove them from the oil. Drain the wings on the cooling rack before transferring them to the warm oven. Continue to fry the remaining batches of wings in this manner.
For Breaded Wings
- Combine the flour and the cornstarch together in a mixing bowl. Toss the wings into the flour-cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
- Fry the wings in batches of six for 9-10 minutes. Drain as instructed above.
Coat the Wings in the Buffalo Sauce, Then Serve
- Once all of the wings have been fried, transfer them to a large mixing bowl.Pour a cup of the buffalo sauce over the wings, and toss them to coat them evenly in the sauce.
- After you've tossed the wings, you can return them to the oven to crisp up, or serve them right away.Arrange the wings on a large platter along with carrot and celery sticks.
- Stir the Blue Cheese Dip then spoon it into a serving bowl, to serve alongside the wings. Serve any remaining Buffalo Sauce in separate cups, if desired.
Air-Fryer (Naked Unbreaded) Wings:
- Set the temperature and dial on your air fryer to "Air Fry" and 375°F.
- Arrange the wings in a single layer on the air fryer tray, ensuring the wings are spaced apart to allow air to circulate around them.
- Air fry the wings on the first side for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, flip the wings over with a pair of tongs and fry them on the second side for 4 minutes.
- Transfer the wings to the warm oven to keep them hot. Continue frying the remaining wings in this manner.
- Toss the fried wings in the sauce as instructed.
Baked Buffalo Wings:
- Toss the wings in the prepared Buffalo Sauce.
- Arrange the wings in a single layer on a lightly greased sheet pan.
- Bake the wings in a pre-heated 400°F (204°C) for 15-18 minutes, or until crisped and cooked through.
- Transfer any leftover wings to a food storage container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat cold wings, just heat them in a microwave or a preheated 300°F (149°C) oven until warmed through.
- Transfer the cooled wings to a freezer storage bag.
- Freeze the wings for 4 months.
- Thaw the frozen wings overnight in the fridge and reheat throughout in the microwave or oven.