Classic Buffalo Chicken Wings
Provided by: Jean Anderson
I've taken some short-cuts here -- like baking the ribs instead of hauling out the deep-fat fryer. Like simplifying the dip by substituting a good bottled ranch dressing with built-in seasonings for the longer-winded mayo/sour cream/blue cheese combo. Finally, I use the pre-crumbled blue cheese supermarkets sell in little plastic containers and particularly like the Gorgonzola. Note: Buffalo Wings are messy finger-food, so put out plenty of paper napkins.
- FOR CHICKEN
- 24 chicken wings (about 4 lbs), halved at joint and wing tips snipped off
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or 1 1/2 tablespoons each vegetable oil and melted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne) or to taste
- 1/4 cup tomato ketchup or 2 tablespoons each ketchup and bottled barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce (Frank's, Texas Pete, or Tabasco, etc.)
- FOR BLUE CHEESE DIP
- 1 1/2 cups bottled ranch dressing (a good thick one)
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (Danish, Gorgonzola, or Roquefort, etc) plus 1 tablespoon to garnish
- FOR CELERY
- 8 medium celery ribs, , cut into slim sticks 4 to 5 inches long
- BAKE WINGS:Preheat oven to 425° F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil and set aside. Pat wings dry on paper toweling. Place oil, salt, and cayenne in large plastic zipper bag, seal, and squeeze to combine. Add 6 to 8 wings to bag, seal, and shake to coat with cayenne mixture. Arrange wings in single layer on foil-lined pan, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat until all wings are coated.
- Bake uncovered -- one sheet at a time -- on middle oven shelf 20 to 25 minutes or until wings are lightly browned, tender, and no longer pink at bone. Meanwhile, combine ketchup, vinegar, and hot pepper sauce in large non-reactive bowl. Add baked wings and turn in sauce to coat.
- MAKE DIP:Whisk together ranch dressing and 1/2 cup crumbled cheese to combine.
- TO SERVE: Spoon dip into small bowl, sprinkle with remaining tablespoon crumbled cheese, and center on large round platter. Shake excess sauce off wings, then cluster with celery sticks around edge of platter - wings, celery, wings, celery, wings, celery.