One of the things I love about fall is the return of football. Specifically, watching my beloved, tho beleaguered, Washington Redskins. I grew up watching them during the Golden Gibbs Era, and every year I remain
deluded hopeful about a return to glory. (This could be the year!)
Anyway, I love football more than my husband.
[Edit: I should clarify. I love football more than my husband loves football. I do NOT love football more than I love my husband!]
While he is not a football fanatic like me, he does love football food, specifically wings.
So much so, he bought a deep fryer a few years ago so he could make his own wings. Just recently, he’s graduated to making his own blue (bleu?) cheese dressing to go with the wings.
In honor of the return of football season, I share with you how
we he cooks wings and our his homemade blue cheese dressing recipe. Be sure to come back tomorrow when I will be hosting a giveaway of our favorite wing sauce!
How to Deep Fry Wings
Supplies / Ingredients:
- Deep fryer with propane tank, (or electric deep fryer)
- Pot, preferably with fryer basket
- Thermometer with long neck
- Long tongs
- Oil — peanut or vegetable
- Chicken wings, fresh or defrosted
- Favorite sauce
The first rule of deep frying is … keep the kids and pets away.
We do not let the kids outside or near the area when Mike is deep frying and keep a close eye at all times.
Heat the oil in the pot to 350°. The amount of oil you use will vary, Mike estimates he uses a half gallon in his 5 quart pot when cooking ~20 wings. You want to the oil to cover the wings easily, too much is better than too little.
Speaking of oil, we use peanut oil, which we buy in a huge container at Costco. I’ve also heard vegetable oil is good. When we are done cooking the wings and the oil has cooled back down, Mike pours the used oil into an old milk jug and we save it for next time (we keep it in our deep freezer if we don’t have immediate plans to use it). The oil can be reused several times before discarding it.
Once the oil is hot, add the wings. If you have a basket, it’s easy — simply add them to the basket and insert it into the oil. We don’t have one (yet), so Mike puts them in with the tongs a couple at a time, careful to avoid splashes.
By-the-way, the wings should be fully defrosted, even better if they have sat out a bit before cooking (note: use food safety sense about leaving uncooked food out). When you add the wings to the oil, it will reduce the temp of the oil and you want it to heat back up quickly. We buy our wings frozen in a big bag from Costco (~$2/lb), so I have to remember to defrost ahead of time.
Once our wings went in, the temp never got back over 300°, which isn’t ideal, but honestly, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. If you prefer really crispy wings, I suppose it could be a problem.
During the cooking process, you don’t need to do much, just shake the wings a few times. If you have a basket, it’s easy to do by giving the basket a good shake. Without a basket, Mike uses his tongs to poke around a few times. This ensures the wings are getting cooked evenly and not stuck together anywhere.
The wings need to cook until they reach 165°, but it’s difficult to check the temp on a scrawny little wing, so we watch the color. The wings should be done when they turn golden brown. In our case, it took about 6 minutes. I’ve also heard that when the wings start to float, they are done. You can always pull one out and check it before removing them all.
Here’s how ours looked when we took them out.
Once they are done cooking, remove them from the oil (and turn it off, but remain vigilant until it has fully cooled).
Now is the time to apply the sauce. Take your favorite brand of sauce, put some in a container with high sides and preferably a lid and then add your wings to the container.
Give it a few shakes to coat the wings in your sauce and you are ready to eat!
The traditional accompaniment to buffalo wings is blue cheese dressing with celery. I’m not sure why blue cheese exactly, although I know it helps with the heat when your mouth is on fire. We used to buy blue cheese dressing — Marie’s in the refrigerated section was Mike’s top choice, but we just started making our own. Mike has experimented with different ratios to come up with what he likes best. Feel free to tinker until it suits your palette.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Adapted from a recipe shared by the Wing King, Mark Weiler
- 1/2 lb (8 oz) bleu cheese
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. cream-style horseradish
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard (optional)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
About the blue cheese — there are different varieties with distinctly different flavors. The first time we made it, we used a Gorgonzola blue cheese (pictured above). It is milder and Mike wasn’t wild about it. The second time we tried, we used a more medium-bodied cheese, called “Danish Blue”. Mike thought it was much better. I’ve found a good selection of blue cheeses at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Costco.
Crumble the blue cheese in a bowl with your fork.
Then add the other ingredients and stir it up.
The consistency of this dressing was on the thick side, which Mike liked. You could always add more sour cream or mayo to get it thinner.
We keep ours in a ball jar in the fridge. If you make it ahead, it will give the flavor a chance to set.
I am not a huge blue cheese dressing fan, but I do have to say, it’s pretty good and I like making it homemade and knowing exactly what went into it.
So there you have it, that’s how we doing wings and blue cheese dressing. Be sure to check out my giveaway of our favoritest wing sauce!
This is linked up to: Things I Love Thursday