Alton Brown Style Buffalo Wings

Alton Brown Style Buffalo WingsWing and a Prayer
We live in the world of the 24-hour news cycle. Things which, in the past, would not be considered news worthy are reported, and I am often amazed by the media’s idea of what is truly important.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, one of the anchors on my favorite morning show announced in her serious Stormageddon voice, that this year there was a shortage of chicken wings for the Super Bowl. (Insert panicked screaming.) While I like chicken wings as much as the next person, and I realize that chicken wings are a traditional finger food for munching on during the Super Bowl, I was surprised at the level of horror with which this anchor delivered the story. (Fewer Wings for Super Bowl?!? What ever will we do?!?! Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope!). Melodrama. The world will not come to a screeching halt because we only eat three dozen wings instead of four.

The chicken wing shortage is due to the rise in grain prices, which comes on the heels of the drought, that the country has been experiencing in much of the South and Midwest in the past few years. Higher prices mean that farmers aren’t raising as many chickens, and fewer chickens would obviously mean fewer wings. And it’s not just the chickens. It’s the pigs, and the cows, and the…well, you get the point. Farmers who are not able to make ends meet actually are a serious situation. Fewer wings for Super Bowl? Not so much.

The image of a “Doomsday Preppers: Chicken Wing Edition” did go through my mind. Huge freezers full of wings and blue cheese dressing. (I know, I know, but I totally crack myself up…)

Naturally, I immediately checked out wing recipes when I got to my computer this morning. I admit it. I was all over it. Here is the recipe for Alton Brown Style Buffalo Wings that has proven promising. Stock up today!

Happy Super Bowl! Go Niners! 

Alton Brown Style Buffalo Wings
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown and the Food Network
6 servings

12 whole chicken wings (about 3 pounds)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Crystal Hot Sauce
Kosher salt

Steam the Chicken Wings
Place a steamer basket in a 6-quart saucepan and fill the bottom with 1 inch of water. Place it on the stove top and turn the heat on to high. Cover and bring to a boil.

With kitchen shears, remove the tips of the wings and discard them. Use a pair of kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket, allow to cool until they can be handled, and pat dry. Lay out the wings on a cooling rack. Set it in a sheet pan lined with paper towels and place the sheet pan in the refrigerator to allow the chicken wings to dry the rest of the way (about 1 hour).

Bake the Chicken Wings
Preheat the oven to 425º F. Remove the paper towels on the pan and replace them with parchment paper. Roast the chicken wings on the sheet pan, on the middle rack of the oven, for about 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 20 to 30 mintues more—or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

Make the Sauce
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large mixing bowl that will accommodate all of the chicken wings. Stir to combine the sauce. Remove the wings from the oven, transfer them to the bowl, and toss with the sauce.

Serve warm.

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