BLUEFIELD — If I had to pick a food that absolutely puts a smile on my face every time I encounter it, it would be Buffalo wings.
It's one of those foods that has a mystique to it, and true Buffalo chicken wing connoisseurs are highly opinionated as to what the authentic recipe is as well as the correct preparation of the dish itself.
Don't believe me? Check out my video recipe called “Authentic Buffalo Wings” on
my YouTube channel and peruse the viewer comments. They get rather enthusiastic, and at times rude.
Oh well, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
By the way, my YouTube channel is www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay. Search for “Authentic Buffalo Wings.”
The authentic recipe uses skin-on wings which are deep fried - a definite double cholesterol whammy.
You then dip them in bleu cheese dressing, making them a triple play of heart clogging proportions.
But wait! You serve it with carrots and celery, making this a health dish. Yeah, not so much.
So we make a healthy version more frequently, which is very popular. We use skinless chicken breasts instead of the more fattening wings, and we smoke and grill them instead of deep frying them. The sauce and the bleu cheese remains the same, although we do mix a little ranch dressing into the bleu cheese to smooth out the bleu cheese flavor.
Authentic Buffalo Sauce
• 2/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
• 1/3 stick of unsalted butter
• 1/8 cup of white wine vinegar
• 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter into the Franks sauce over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil while constantly stirring. Remove from heat.
Set up your grill with indirect heat. If gas, leave one or two burners turned off. If charcoal, pile burning coals on one side of the grill. If you want a smoky flavor, sprinkle with hickory chips or use a
hickory log to keep the coals in the corner.
Salt and pepper the breasts, brush some sauce on both sides of the chicken and place them on the side of the grill which has no heat directly under it. Place the lid on the grill and allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes or so.
Now move the chicken over the coals and begin basting with the Buffalo sauce, turning and basting frequently. The more frequently you baste, the more Buffalo flavor you will impart
on the chicken. Continue this process until the breasts are fully cooked. If you want to be sure, check the internal temperature, which should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher and chicken breasts quickly turn to leather.
WARNING. Do not add a fresh layer of sauce on the chicken as you pull it off. The new addition of sauce will have been exposed to raw chicken and will not have reached the proper temperature to kill the stuff that can make you sick.
Bring the chicken in and allow to rest for five minutes. Serve with a 50 – 50 mixture of bleu chees and ranch dressing. If you have leftovers, this Buffalo chicken is fantastic.
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.