How to Enjoy Restaurant-Style Buffalo Wings at Home
Alongside pizza and burgers, another restaurant favorite that many crave is buffalo wings. While you may have your local go-to restaurants for this, it also pays to learn how to enjoy buffalo wings at home. Whether for your Friday movie night, beer with friends, or a weekend party, you can serve buffalo wings as a crowd favorite. It’s not just any other ordinary wings; it’ll be like those you order at restaurants.
Anyone can follow a recipe, but getting it right and cooking wings like a pro is easier said than done. You get it wrong, and you’re left with a batch that’s too greasy. When buffalo wings are a restaurant indulgence, you’ll want to be able to maintain that standard even when whipping up your own.
Read on to learn some of the best secrets to mimic restaurant-like buffalo wings, plus the best side dishes to pair them with.
Start Preparing the Night Before
If buffalo wings are on the menu the next day, make the extra effort to prepare the night before. This refers to the process of salting and chilling the wings out. It’s as simple as tossing salt on the wings and leaving them uncovered in the fridge overnight. Don’t forget it has to be uncovered so that the moisture can evaporate.
Doing this process allows you to dry out the skin slightly. This is the best secret to getting that crispy skin once it’s time to fry. When absorbed in the meat, the salt makes it a tad bit tender, so it’s juicier than usual. This process is called brining the chicken.
Give Them Time to Cool
Buffalo wings entice a crowd, but this doesn’t mean you should hover over them and pick them up immediately after cooking. If buffalo wings are on the menu, cook them early to give them time to cool. When you do, leave enough room between each wing on the rack.
Keep the Breading Simple
Did you know that traditional buffalo wings are fried ‘naked’? This means frying sans a breading mix and directly into the skin itself.
Not all buffalo chicken lovers opt for the traditional one, so if you’re copying a recipe that calls for a breading, at the very least, you’ll want to keep it simple. Salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder mixed with flour is a no-fail. If you want a little more spice, you can also dust in cayenne or chili pepper.
Use the Right Oil for Frying
Yes, there’s such a thing as the right oil for deep frying the wings. There’s no need to go all complicated or fancy about this. Even the basic ones do just as fine: vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.
Those oils are great as they don’t have any additional flavor or taste. Hence, the oil itself won’t destroy the flavor of your buffalo wings. Likewise, those three kinds of oil also have a high smoke point that helps ensure crispy skin.
Check the Oil Temperature Before Frying
While frying with oil is the best way to get that crispy skin, this isn’t to say it’s a failproof way. You can still fail in frying, especially when the oil isn’t hot enough. Making this mistake can be a disaster, leading to soggy buffalo wings.
Before placing the chicken in the oil, be sure that the oil has already reached a temperature of 375 to 400 degrees F. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer yet, it’s the right time to buy one now.
What Side Dishes Go Best With Buffalo Wings
Sweet potatoes are easy and fuss-free to make and a delight to serve with buffalo wings. Slice the potatoes into small pieces, dab them with butter, then bake in the oven. If you want to take it further, you can also stuff it with add-ons like broccoli, cheese, and spinach.
Cheese And Cauliflower Bread Sticks
This isn’t like your ordinary garlic bread sticks. Cheese and cauliflower breadsticks are a delight to have, especially given how it’s a lot healthier and less sinful than the usual breadsticks. If you have young children, the cheese and cauliflower breadstick also gives you a sneaky way to introduce vegetables to your kids so that they can have a hearty dinner along with the chicken wings.
One of the most well-loved appetizers in restaurants is mozzarella sticks. If you have the time to make your own, there’s no harm in doing it from scratch. However, if time is of the essence or you’re serving a big batch, there’s no harm in frying store-bought, frozen mozzarella sticks. It tastes just as great.
For those who have quite a kitchen prowess and you’d rather make your own, a sneaky trick to try is to skip the breading mix and use wonton wrappers instead. They stay crispy for longer and make for a crunchy bite.
Homemade Potato Fries
French fries are great, but homemade potato fries are even better. They’re not only healthier, but they’re tastier as well. The grease from the oil may still be there, but at least there’s comfort in the thought that what you have are real potatoes.
Greek Yogurt Caesar Salad With Garlic Croutons
Everyone loves a good old Caesar salad, so you’re sure this will be a big hit when serving buffalo wings to friends and family. There are loads of easy recipes you can try out, so you can also have restaurant-like salads. There’s the perfect mix of a tangy flavor and crisp that complements the kick you get with your buffalo wings.
Now, the Secrets Out
With expert tips like those above, you can now be your own expert with buffalo wings too. Buying big batches frequently from restaurants can be expensive, so it’s best to learn how to make your own. Once you get the hang of it, you may also start making your dips and side dishes and have your tried-and-tested cooking hacks. As you can see, it’s more than just deep frying. It’s also about the seasoning, marinade, and all the other little steps in between.