My husband is a big fan of hot wings. He’s kind of picky about how the wing is prepared. He likes a little breading, but not overly done. And that breading cannot be soggy. He likes a nice fried wing and a sauce that has a kick, but not so hot you can hardly eat them. It’s not a competition about who can scarf down the hottest hot wing, it’s about making a good wing that will keep you and your guests coming back for more! Let me first tell you that I am kind of scared of deep-frying anything. This goes back to a little grease fire that I had in a house that we rented in Milwaukee. It was Valentine’s Day and I was trying to surprise my husband with a fancy meal of his favorite foods. I bought some shrimp to fry and made the mistake of using too small and shallow of a pan and the oil overflowed onto the stove top burner causing instant flames. I grabbed the handle of the small pot and threw it in the kitchen sink. I had just sliced up some lemons and the cutting board was in the sink so the acid from the lemons wasn’t helping with the flames. I knew water on a grease fire was no good so I did the quickest thing I could think of. I opened up the back and threw the flaming pan out the door into the lovely white snow. That did the trick. A lot of deep cleaning on the tile work and touch up paint on the blackened wall behind the kitchen sink and our landlord’s couldn’t even tell it happened. Our poor dog Zeppelin was scared to death and hid in the guest room the whole time as the smoke alarms went off. I thought she was supposed to pull me out of a burning building or something, but I guess not! So after that little detour, I try to avoid frying anything at all costs! With the wings, I’ve baked them in the oven but I prefer fried ones way better so they are one of the few fried foods I make. Since I only make them a few times a year, I don’t feel so guilty for indulging.
When I first searched for a wing recipe, I searched for a copycat of a Hooters style wing. They are lightly breaded and fried. I found a few recipes and put together a version of my own that has worked out pretty well. The only drawback about these wings is that it is time consuming. We like the larger fresh wings as opposed to the bags of frozen wings so I usually only make around 10-12 wings for my husband and I to enjoy. Last Superbowl, we had friends over and I made these wings. I was in the kitchen frying the wings the entire first half. I wanted them to be fresh and they were, but I’ll never do that again. I’ll probably fry them up, sauce them up, and then stick them in the oven before hand so I’m not in the kitchen the entire first half. Also, these wings are messy to make. Maybe if you have a fancy fryer thing it may be less messy, but I use a bit pot and the whole stove top is splattered with grease by the end. But, I’m telling you, they are worth the trouble and mess a few times a year! Go forth and fry up some wings!
Here’s the Hot Wing Recipe: Enough for 10-12 super large wings or 20-24 small wings
2 Cups All purpose flour
2 Tsp salt
1 TBS black pepper
1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper ground
1 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C hot sauce. I use Cholula or Tapatio or a combo of the two.
Plenty of oil for frying (Vegetable, Canola). Get a gallon jug.
Wings- I prefer larger fresh wings, but I’ve made before using frozen small ones. I thaw them out before using.
Ranch Dressing for dipping- I prefer Ken’s Buttermilk or I make my own
Plenty of napkins for messy hands!
In a shallow pan, combine the flour and spices to make the breading mixture.
Wash and pat dry the wings and then coat them well with the breading mixture. There will be breading mixture left over. Do not discard. Lay the wings in a 9 x 13 pan and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. After an hour, coat the wings with a second coat of breading mixture and set aside.
In a small pan, melt butter and hot sauce over low heat. I use a whisk to make sure it’s mixed well. You can adjust butter/hot sauce ratio if you want a milder or spicier wing. 1/2 C butter and 1/2 C hot sauce is a medium heat using Cholula or Tapatio. It may be hotter using Frank’s or another type of sauce. You can always add more butter/sauce to get it just how you want it.
In a very large heavy pot or deep fryer, slowly heat the oil to 375 Degrees. I like to use my handing iGrill mini thermometer that tells me when my oil is at the right temp. A candy thermometer would work well too. Slowly lower 4-5 wings into the pot and try to make sure all are covered with oil. I cover the pot with lid to try to help decrease the oil splatter. Fry wings for around 12-15 minutes until the wings look nice and golden. The oil may cool as you add the wings so you may need to adjust your burner and keep your eye on it. After wings are done frying, place them on a wire rack to drain for a couple minutes.
Ladle a few spoonfuls of butter/sauce mixture into a large bowl and then add a few wings and gently toss and use tongs to evenly distribute the sauce. Serve with Ranch on the side.
Fire up that fryer and make some hot wings!