Fried Chicken (Wings)

I'll admit it. I love fried chicken. Wings. Breasts. Popcorn. Nuggets. It's all good. When I set out to create this recipe, I was really going for Buffalo-style wings. The vinegary, spicy, fried creation is just oh-so enticing. Well instead, the batch that came out the best were the plain old fried chicken wings. No sauce required.

Not only did I set out to create Buffalo wings; but I set out to create baked Buffalo wings. The Barefoot Contessa inspired me with this yummy recipe. Turns out, fried is better. Who knew?

Don't worry, though. I've got a baked curry chicken bite recipe brewing. I'll let you decide whether to bake or fry your chicken for the Super Bowl.

Fried Chicken (Wings)
makes approx. 30 wings

10-15 whole chicken wings
3 cups buttermilk
3 tbsp Frank's Red Hot sauce
4 cloves garlic (rough chop)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp smoky hot paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
vegetable oil (for frying)

Give the chicken at least 6 hours to marinade before cooking. It makes all the difference. Overnight is even better.

Using a heavy duty knife split the wings at the joint. This is going to require a little force. Don't be scared. You can also remove the tip if preferred. Toss the wings into a plastic container. Cover with buttermilk, hot sauce and garlic. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for as long as you can).

Combine flour, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish.

Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot, so it's about 2 inches deep. Bring the oil up to 375 degrees. If you don't have a deep frying thermometer, test the oil with a stick of fresh herbs. Dip the stick of a fresh herb into the oil, and if it sizzles, you're good. I used this method and it worked like a charm.

Working in batches of about 7, coat the wings in the flour mixture. Transfer back to the buttermilk, then coat in flour again. You're giving the wings an extra delicious crust. Drop the wings into the oil, and fry until golden brown, for 8-10 minutes. Turn over once or twice (with tongs!) to ensure they cook evenly. Remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon, and let cool slightly before digging in. 

After removing the wings, let the oil heat back up before adding another batch.

You could always toss the wings in Buffalo sauce (1/2 sauce, 1/2 butter), when they come out of the oil. I found that it make the crust a little too soggy for my liking.... but the pictures turned out!

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