(Written in August 1988)
Here in the U.S.A., we have some occasional masochistic tendencies, which in my case tend to run in the direction of spicy food. The most pleasant way I have found to burn my mouth off has been via the consumption of a delicacy known as "Buffalo Wings". These are not, as a layman, might assume, the wings of a Buffalo, but instead chicken wings doused in Buffalo Wing sauce, which in turn, originated from Buffalo, New York. They apparently had to do something to stay warm on those cold winter nights.
The sauce can range anywhere from mild to atomic in "taste", and is wonderful for clearing out those sinuses.
I for years tried to create my own Buffalo wing sauce, but without success, until one cold night, I stumbled over the recipe in my experimentations:
- Start with a large saucepan.
- Melt some butter in the saucepan (about 1 tablespoon)
- 24 oz (two large bottles) of Lousiana "Red Hot" sauce
- 1 small bottle of Tobasco
- A pinch of garlic powder
- A dash or Worcestershire sauce
- A dash of soy sauce
- A tablespoon (or more) of ketchup
- Simmer this concoction for about 15-30 minutes (You want to eliminate as much of the water as possible), and then thicken with a bit of corn starch or tapioca starch. Make sure to dissolve the starch in cold water first, and then add the starch/water mixture, and stir. If you don’t use the small amount of cold water first, the starch will clump in the sauce. The starch is meant to thicken the sauce.
- By the way, keep the area around the stove well-ventilated, and remove all small birds from the vicinity if you don’t want them to perish due to the fumes.
- Let the mixture cool.
Applying this brew to wings is also an art form all of in itself. Take about a dozen wings, cut them into their three respective sections and toss out the tips. Fry what you have left in a deep fat fryer until golden brown (about 10 minutes in my Tefal fryer).
Note that you want to have a large watertight container available, into which you will dispense a couple of tablespoons of the hot sauce…
Once you are done frying the wings, dump them in the container with the sauce, seal the container and shake violently in order to evenly distribute the sauce across the wing surfaces. Unseal, pour on plate, and eat.
Some people like to eat Buffalo Wings accompanied by celery stalks and blue cheese dressing because it dampens the pain. These people are wimps.
If you do find this too hot, you can thin the mixture with water and ketchup, and also not cook it so long. If you want it hotter, add white and/or red pepper and cook it longer. Also, the sauce may be enhanced with a variety of other ingredients. For example for a hot/sweet sauce, add maple syrup.
The amount of sauce prepared above should keep about 100 wings happily coated.
Buffalo wing eater’s motto: If it don’t burn going in and don’t burn coming out, it ain’t hot enough.