Author Notes: The first time I ever made chicken wings at home I set the oven on fire. Since then I've tended to only make them in the restaurant- where I have someone to help me clean up. But these days the only way I can appease my wife into ok'ing an afternoon of watching football is to make her all-time favorite indulgence- buffalo wings. So out of necessity, I devised the perfect way to make chicken wings at home with no mess, splattering oil or potentially undercooked chicken.
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- 3 cups water
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry thyme
- 2-3 pounds chicken wings
- 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
- 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- Combine the water, sugar and salt in bowl and whisk until disolved. Add the hot sauce, garlic, thyme and chicken wings. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight, up to 48 hours.
- Transfer the chicken wings and brine to a medium sauce pot. If the wings are not completely covered, add water to the pot until they are. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. When the pot reaches a boil, turn off the heat and allow the wings to cool in the liquid for 15 minutes. Remove the wings from the liquid and store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve.
- To serve, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the oil and sauce. Place a large saute pan on the stove and full with canola or vegetable oil to a depth of approximately 3/4 inch. Turn the heat to medium.
- Pour the hot sauce into a small sauce pot and place over high heat. Add the butter and whisk until melted and fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl or a second large saute pan and hold next to the stove.
- Place the flour in a mixing bowl or baking pan and season well with salt and pepper. Roll the chicken wings in the flour to coat completely. To test the oil sprinkle a pinch of flour into the pan. If the oil sizzles immediately it is ready to fry. Remove the wings from the flour one-by-one and pat off any of the excess flour. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil- the oil should only come half way up the side of the wing.
- Let the wings cook until golden brown, 1-2 mintues, then turn with a pair of tongs and brown again on the second side. Transfer the browned wings to the bowl of hot sauce. Keep the pan of oil full of wings but try not to let the wings touch one another. Every time you remove one wing, replace it with another until the wings have been browned.
- Toss all of the wings in the bowl coat with the sauce and serve immediately.
- Leave the oil to cool on top of the stove. When cooled, pour the oil into a bottle with a screw on lid and discard.