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Teressa Bellissimo cooked up her first batch of hot wings for hungry customers at Buffalo’s Anchor Bar in 1964 (or so the story goes), and Americans fell in love. The signature spicy wings recipe gradually spread from upstate New York across the country, and a half-century later, we can’t seem to get enough of chicken wings slathered in peppery, buttery sauce. Collectively, we down an astonishing number of them each year, including more than 1.3 billion on Super Bowl Sunday alone, according to the National Chicken Council.
Wings are so popular now it’s easy to forget that they were once a throwaway part of the bird. Most people reserved them for stock and certainly didn’t think of them as a must-have game day snack. Today, wings are actually one of the most expensive cuts of chicken you can buy, since demand for them is so high. The once-overlooked wing is so desirable that people have even pulled off “wing heists,” stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of them from a storage facility in Atlanta in 2013.
Thankfully, you don’t need to resort to a life of crime to enjoy your wings, and you don’t need to pay someone else to prepare them either. While you’ll find Buffalo wings and their many variations on restaurant menus around the country, they’re easy enough to make at home. A quick Google search reveals millions of wing recipes — some breaded, some baked, some fried, and various ways of being coated in sauce. Many of these spins on wings may be tasty, but if you’re looking for the real deal, you can’t go wrong with this classic Buffalo wings recipe.
These wings aren’t pretending to be healthy. They’re not deep-fried or baked, which is key to producing a good wing, according to Serious Eats. In fact, to get a perfect crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside wing, you want to fry them not once, but twice. The first fry, at a low heat, breaks down collagen in the wing, making the meat super tender. After par-frying, you let your wings rest or freeze them, then fry them in very hot oil just before you’re ready to serve. Cooking the wings a second time at 400 degrees Fahrenheit causes the skin to crackle and bubble, so it’s crispy and there are plenty of nooks and crannies for the delicious Buffalo sauce.