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Classic Buffalo Wings

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 4 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes (plus optional extra time for salting the chicken)

These wings! It’s hard to overstate how fantastic they are: crispy, falling-off-the-bone tender, perfectly seasoned, and just the right balance of tangy and spicy. And all you do is PUT THEM IN THE OVEN. I’ll admit that I set out to follow my own formula here, of roasting a protein and a vegetable together. But, then, the wings really need the whole sheet pan to themselves. And when it comes right down to it, what everyone wants to eat with these is crispy, cold celery with blue cheese dressing, not the roasted cauliflower I made on a separate pan (though you should feel free). So I’m making the strong case that chicken wings and tons of celery makes a perfectly balanced meal. I hope you’ll join me.

A note about the wings: I use “party wings,” which are wings that have been separated into flats and drumettes.  But it’s fine to use whole wings instead—you just might need to bake them a little longer.

Ingredients

3 pounds chicken wings

2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

½ teaspoon all-purpose flour (this keeps the sauce from separating, but it’s fine to omit if it doesn’t fit your diet)

¼ cup Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce

Blue cheese dressing (recipe below) and lots of celery sticks for serving (I use a whole enormous head for 4 people)

Instructions

1. Line a large rimmed pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

2. Arrange the chicken wings on the pan and salt them, first on one side and then on the other, using all the salt.

3. Cover the wings (I just lay a piece of wax paper over them, tbh) and refrigerate them for 4-6 hours – or even better, refrigerate overnight, but the recipe will still work if you don’t have time to refrigerate at all.

4. When you’re ready to bake them, take the wings out of the fridge and heat your oven to 375° F. Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 30 minutes and then use tongs or two forks to flip them over. Bake another 30 minutes or so until the wings are deeply golden, very crisp and frying in puddles of their own fat. If they are not browning for some reason, turn your oven up 25 degrees.

5. Toward the end of the baking time, melt the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook for 30 seconds or so, then whisk in the hot sauce and cook, whisking, just until thick and blended, about another 30 seconds. (If you’re not using flour, just whisk the hot sauce right into the butter.)

6. Put the wings in a bowl or on a platter, pour the sauce over them, and toss. Serve with the celery and blue cheese dressing.

Blue-Cheese Dressing

In a blender or food processor, or with a hand blender or even a very sturdy whisk, whir together 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Maytag, Danish, or Gorgonzola, 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use full-fat Best Foods or Hellmann's), 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon white or white wine vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Thin with more buttermilk as desired, taste for salt (add some if it needs it) and serve with lots of celery sticks.

About Catherine Newman

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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