Fall, Football, and WINGS!
With social distancing taking front and center this year, the lights have dimmed on tailgating and football watching parties. But food, like football, is always a comfort during the fall–especially this year! And these Baked Buffalo Wings are still my family’s football season favorite.
Where did Buffalo Wings originate?
Several bars and restaurants claim to have created the original wings. But The Anchor Bar in Downtown Buffalo, New York, is the birthplace of Buffalo “wings.” And the owner, Teressa Bellissimo, was the mastermind behind this popular dish.
A Little Wing History
Frank and Teressa Bellissimo bought the restaurant on Main Street in Buffalo, New York, in 1935. Being near the Buffalo River, they named it the Anchor Bar.
Back in 1964, friends of her son, Dominic, paid a visit to the Anchor Bar late one Friday evening. As the evening wore on, they boys became very hungry.
So what could Teressa whip up in a jiffy to feed these hungry boys? Wings were plentiful in Teressa’s fridge, either because of an ordering or delivery error or because she planned to use them soon to make a delicious chicken stock (the story differs here).
But whatever the real story about why wings were served that night, Teressa whipped up a the now-famous batch for her son’s friends. The unbreaded wings were quickly deep fried and generously glazed with Teressa’s newly created hot sauce.
Teressa’s served this new snack with a blue cheese dressing to mellow out the spicy sauce-covered wings. Celery sticks were served on the side. I’m not sure what the significance of celery was other than she would have had plenty handy to make her chicken stock.
The “wings” (as they’re called in Buffalo) were a hit with the young patrons. Word spread about how delicious this late night snack was. And the rest, as they say, is culinary history.
The popularity of wings spread throughout the state of New York and then nationally over the years. By the mid-1980s, Buffalo wings were gracing many a sports bar happy hour menu.
The original Anchor Bar is no longer owned by the Bellissimo family, who have all passed on, but it still exists and is as popular as ever. There are now several locations scattered throughout the US and Canada.
A Healthier Spin on Buffalo Wings
My version are baked on the broil setting. Baked Buffalo Wings are so quick and easy to make, with no frying involved.
For the Chicken
- Fill a large pot half way with water.
- Separate wings into 3 parts–the drumette, the flat, and the wing tip (keep the tip for future stock).
- Add chicken wings (drumettes and flats), cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt to the pot.
- Bring the water/chicken to a boil.
- Cook the wings for 15 minutes.
- Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Put the wings wings on a cooling rack set in a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet.
- Spray wings with cooking spray. This makes them a crispier.
- Bake the wings on the BROIL setting, 7-10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the wings.
- For crispier wings or meatier wings, broil the chicken longer, up to 15 minutes per side.
For the sauce
- Place the hot sauce, garlic powder, and butter on the stove top or place in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat for 2 minutes in the microwave or until butter is melted.
- Stir to combine.
When wings are done, mix with the sauce with the wings.
Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing or Ranch Dip and celery on the side.
Make Ahead Buffalo Wings Tip
You can boil the chicken wings several hours and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to broil.
The wings can also be frozen after being boiled. Just defrost before placing them under the broiler.
Other Favorite Appetizers
- 1 pound chicken wings separated into 3 parts
- 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- FILL a large pot half way with water. ADD chicken drummets and flats, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt to the pot. (Save the wing tips for stock.)
- Bring to a BOIL and COOK the chicken wings for 15 minutes.
- PLACE oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- PLACE wings on a cooling rack set in a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet. SPRAY wings with cooking spray.
- BAKE the wings on the BROIL setting, 7-10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the wings. For crispier wings or meatier wings, BROIL the chicken longer, up to 15 minutes per side.
- For the sauce: HEAT the hot sauce, garlic powder, and butter on the stovetop or place in a microwave-safe bowl. HEAT for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. STIR.
- When wings are done, MIX with the sauce with the wings. SERVE with Blue Cheese or Ranch Dip and celery on the side.