Game Day Fried Chicken Wings
Football season returns this weekend and people all over America have been waiting months for another game day party! Sitting back to relax after a long week with a cold drink in your hand while you watch the game with your family or friends is an especially rewarding experience, but what really takes the celebration to the next level is the snacks! There are a million options to choose from, but somehow fried chicken wings always makes watching sports feel complete.
It might seem like a daunting task, but anyone can make wings at home that will carry their next watch party to the next level. I chose to try this recipe for fried chicken wings from the top results of Google to see if it would turn out as advertised, and to prove that it’s not as hard as you might think to tweak a recipe to suit your needs.
- 12 Chicken wings
- ¼ Tsp salt or seasoning blend
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Extra tsp salt
- ½ Tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ Tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ Tsp paprika
- ¼ Tsp ground sage (optional)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch (optional)
- Vegetable oil for frying
Mix the chicken wings with ¼ tsp salt or seasoning blend and let it sit for a few minutes. Instead of using a salt blend, you can also marinate your chicken for at least 30 minutes before frying them or overnight for a greater depth of flavor.
Make your dredge by combining the flour and the remaining seasonings. I like to add an optional ¼ tsp of ground sage for the fragrance, and 2 tbsp of cornstarch to keep the coating a bit lighter.
Coat the wings in the flour mixture before setting them on a sheet tray and refrigerating them for 15-30 minutes. If you are not using a marinade, this step enables you to build a thicker coating on the wings.
After refrigerating, dredge the wings once again in the flour mixture and put them back in the fridge for another 15-30 minutes.
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat to 375 degrees F (190 C) and fry the wings for 10-12 minutes, turning them occasionally for an even golden brown shell. I could fry around 6 wings at a time without overcrowding my pan.
Transfer cooked wings to a wire rack once cooked to preserve their crispiness, then toss them in a large bowl with a sauce of your preference.
Classic Buffalo Sauce
There is no doubt that buffalo wings are a staple of game day cuisine, but did you know that it is a surprisingly easy sauce to make at home? If you have some butter and hot sauce lying around then you’ve already got everything it takes to make a sauce just like you would get in a restaurant! This Recipe. was so easy to make, but it definitely held up to my expectation of what buffalo sauce should be.
Looking for something less saucy and more crispy? Toss your wings in a mixture of melted butter, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and parmesan for a cheesy, crispy treat. For the best results, simmer the ingredients until fragrant, then coat the wings and top with grated parmesan.
Homemade Sesame Sauce
One of my personal favorites is sesame soy sauce. With a nice balance of sweet and savory flavors and a light kick of spice, it hits every point on the spectrum of flavor that you could possibly want.
To make my homemade sesame sauce, first sear the garlic and ginger in the sesame oil until fragrant, then add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Gradually stream in the cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened. Toss your wings in the sauce and top with sesame seeds.
- ¼ Cup soy sauce
- ¼ Cup brown sugar
- 3 Cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 Tbsp ginger (finely chopped)
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp gochujang paste
- 1-2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp mirin or cooking wine
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- ¼ Cup water
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
The final step before serving your platter is choosing a dip. Even the greatest wings can’t live up to sports tradition without the right dipping sauce! Just about everyone will enjoy a classic bowl of ranch to plunge their fresh, saucy wings into, but lovers of buffalo wings will also find that blue cheese dressing is a dependable pairing. Since I was feeling adventurous this week, I experimented with a simple remoulade sauce to see if anything had the potential to dethrone ranch as the greatest wing dip. Despite my desire to make something at home that can defeat ranch at its own game, I took another loss today. I found that the flavor profile of the remoulade was a bit too intense and tended to overshadow the flavor of the wings. This sauce would be better suited as a pairing with fries or spread on a sandwich, so it seems that ranch is still king.
Overall, this recipe was a good option for fried chicken. Considering that I had to fry two batches and observe the added fridge time, this ended up taking twice as long as the recipe indicated. If I was making these for a game day celebration, it would be best to at least triple the recipe depending on the number of expected guests.
Instead of using a marinade or eggs as a binding agent for the flour coating, the recipe recommends refrigerating the wings before coating them a second time. This alternative works well for someone that doesn’t like to prepare a marinade the night before or doesn’t enjoy getting their hands covered in sticky egg and flour while they coat their chicken. As a result, the wings end up with a lighter coating that is still quite good, but the added refrigeration mostly counteracts the prep time that you save by not making a marinade that would also elevate your flavor. If I were to make these again, I would consider either a classic buttermilk or soy based marinade for a greater depth of flavor and to avoid waiting for the fridge time.