Who doesn’t love to gnaw on a spicy chicken wing or drummette, every bite a glorious combination of fat and meat that coats your lips with a red, buttery gloss. Diving into a plate of wings or drummies is a messy endeavor, but that’s why people love ‘em. It’s an excuse to suck a bone clean, lick your fingers and not worry about the smudge of hot sauce on your cheek even if you’re dining in public.
When a craving for Buffalo wings hits, there’s no reason to rely on bottled wing sauces or take-out joints that use questionable ingredients. If you’re a Buffalo wing purist, homemade wings or drummettes require only two easy ingredients: hot sauce and butter. No matter what brand of hot sauce is used, adding a few extra ingredients will intensify the flavor and make the wings even better. Paprika and apple cider vinegar add more smokiness and tanginess, respectively, and garlic gives the wings an extra kick. All three enhance the chicken without dramatically changing the classic spicy, finger-lickin’ good flavor.
A purist will also say the wings have to be deep fried, but deep-frying isn’t always convenient. If you’re not up for the mess and hassle of deep-frying, then turn on the oven or light up the grill – the wings or drummettes will turn out less greasy but no less tender or flavorful. In about 35 minutes you’ll be sitting down to a plate of wings, each one more addictive than the next. Dipping the wings or drummettes in Ranch is optional (we know some of you can’t resist) and so is serving cool, crunchy celery stalks on the side. However you decide to serve ‘em they’re likely to go fast, so make sure to get in there and grab a few before they’re gone.
- 2 1/2 – 3 pounds chicken wings or drummettes
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons hot sauce, or more for a spicier sauce
Pat the chicken dry. An optional extra step is placing the chicken in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 8 hours. This dries out the skin completely, which some claim leads to crispier skin.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or heat grill to medium-high heat.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the garlic, paprika, vinegar and hot sauce. Remove from heat. Pour 1/4 of the sauce into a small bowl and pour the remaining sauce into a large bowl and set aside.
If using the oven, the chicken can be placed on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, or for crispier results, place the chicken on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet so the fat drips down and away from the chicken.
Brush 1/4 of the sauce over the chicken.
If using the oven, bake for 30 minutes, turning once. Heat broiler to high and broil wings on each side until dark and crispy.
If using the grill, then grill over medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes for wings and possibly a few minutes longer for drummettes.
Dump chicken into the large bowl with the remaining sauce and stir to coat.