USA and Buffalo wings

Photographer: Sara
Makes enough sauce for approx 24 wings

Buffalo wings are on the menu of just about any casual American eatery and by the end of our 3 week American vacation I gave up trying to convince myself that I didn’t like them.  Smokey, sweet and with a side of creamy blue cheese salad dressing and crunchy celery they were a temptation impossible to ignore.  I started the trip just eating the celery off my husbands plate, politely dipping it in the dressing as I watched him demolish a tower of wings, caveman-style.  I finished the trip bypassing the celery and going straight for the meat, leaving inhibitions aside as I devoured the flesh off the little bones, sauce around my face, in my own wing heaven. 

I thought I’d whip-up some wings when I got home and researched how they are typically made.  I was horrified to find that after deep frying, they are doused in Frank’s Buffalo Sauce and then commonly tossed in butter!  Needless to say I’ve made a healthier version.  The sauce has the same sweet and smokey notes of Frank’s but there’s no deep frying or butter tossing involved.

America can be criticised about unhealthy food and large portion sizes but I had some real epic food experiences while I was there.  The beautiful sun-ripened fruit available in California is indiciative of it’s climate, Mexican food in San Fran which I can only imagine it being better in, well…Mexico and the variety food in NYC was truly reflective of it’s cultural diversity.  In a nutshell I can’t wait to return.


Buffalo sauce
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 chillis, finely chopped
6 tsp canola oil
1 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour

24 Chicken wings

Blue cheese
Greek yoghurt
Salt and pepper


For the sauce
1. Saute the shallots, galic and chilli in the oil.
2. Once soft, add the vinegar, honey and spices. Whisk to combine.
3. Add the cornflour (mixed with a little water) and add to the sauce. Whisk to combine.
4. Bring the sauce to the boil and when thick, remove from the heat (this only takes a couple of minutes).
5. When cool, process until smooth.

For the wings
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC on Bake.
2. Pat the wings dry then toss the wings in 1/4 of the sauce. Once the oven has reached temperature, bake the wings for 10 minutes in a shallow tray.
3. Remove the wings and change the oven to 200ºC on Grill.
4. Toss the wings in more of the sauce and arrange on a rack (with a tray underneath to catch the drips).
5. Grill the wings, turning frequently and basting with more sauce.

For the blue cheese dressing
1. Blend the blue cheese with the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the wings with the blue cheese dressing, celery and more Buffalo sauce if desired.