Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Wings

October 24, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: People have done some truly obsessive things—unnecessarily, as it turns out—in the name of creating the perfect Buffalo wing. But in his classic Minimalist way, Mark Bittman waves his hand dismissively at all of it. He doesn’t pamper his wings at all, just sticks them directly under the broiler to frizzle. The skin is still fantastically crispy and the insides juicy, in exactly the way that a high-heat blasted roast chicken is. Recipe adapted from The New York Times (August 28, 2013). To read the full story, head here.Genius Recipes

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of chicken wings
  • Neutral oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup relatively mild hot sauce, like Frank’s Red Hot
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Blue cheese dressing and celery sticks for serving (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Pat the wings dry very well with paper towels (this will help them crisp) and, if the wings are whole, cut them into 3 sections, saving the wing tips for stock. Toss the wings with a little neutral oil to keep them from sticking, salt them lightly, and spread them on a baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between each wing.
  2. Heat the broiler with a rack 4 to 6 inches from the flame. (Alternately, heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be moderately hot and the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Leave one side of the grill cooler for indirect cooking.)
  3. Broil in the oven on a sheet pan until the wings are evenly well-browned and crisp, flipping them midway through. This should take 20 to 25 minutes overall, but will depend on the strength of your broiler, so peek often! (If using the grill, put the wings on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook, checking and turning once or twice, until most of the fat has been rendered and the wings are evenly well-browned and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.)
  4. While the wings cook, in a large bowl, combine the hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much).
  5. When the wings are browned and crisp, add them to the bowl with the sauce, and toss to coat. Return the wings to the pan, leaving excess sauce in the bowl, and broil for a few minutes until sizzling and nicely browned on both sides, flipping once. (Or put the wings on the hot part of the grill and cook, uncovered, turning as necessary.)
  6. Serve hot with the extra sauce on the side or, for extra spicy, saucy wings, toss back in the sauce before serving. Blue cheese dressing and celery sticks on the side are a good idea.

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Reviews (7) Questions (1)

7 Reviews

Matt November 2, 2017
Would a salt dry brine for a few hours keep them a bit juicier and the skin crisper? Or is that totally unnecessary?
 
Kimberly October 26, 2017
Recipe makes a delicious wing . My new go to.
 
Marilyn October 25, 2017
Can I bake these wings in the oven, I do not have a broiler or a grill. Also can I make them ahead of time or will they lose their crisp?
 
TheHubers January 31, 2018
Marilyn, you could bake at a high temperature--450 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once. Other than the addition of garlic and vinegar this is basically the Frank's Hot Sauce recipe, which provides the option of baking at a high temperature.
 
Moshee October 25, 2017
Mandy posted this recipe in 2012. http://ladyandpups.com/2012/08/13/the-right-wings-eng/ The sauce is freaking awesome, but more important - broiling is the method she uses. I've done it this way ever since.
 
isw October 25, 2017
"Genius"? What about its predecessors?<br />Kenji offered a very similar baked Buffalo wing recipe about five years ago. His calls for no additional oil, but a baking powder sprinkle to crisp up the skin, and a less-complex baking procedure. Have made it many times.
 
whyisthestovestillon October 27, 2017
I don't think something as simple as sticking a chicken wing in the oven can be a recipe someone claims, or even needs to attribute. I realize this is thanks to people who have taken pretty involved recipes and marketed them as their own, which is awful. Still, this quest to attribute ownership to even the simplest procedure or method has gotten a little out of control in my opinion. Mandy's recipe includes a sauce (that looks wonderful and I cant wait to try it) and I love Kenji, and he is stolen from frequently, but dry/broil/toss in Frank's sauce is hardly a recipe. (Does the same go for Mark? yes!). I don't think a food blog should be obligated to find every instance of a method being used before sharing something, or we're in for some very long posts about the predecessor recipes to how we now prefer to fry an egg... (wait, there are already like 5 of those on this site)