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THE ORIGIN OF BUFFALO WINGS 

Buffalo wing,  in the cuisine of the United States, is basically a chicken wing section (flat or drumettes) that is generally deep-fried then coated or dipped in a sauce consisting of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter prior to serving.

The Buffalo wing was invented in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo. They are traditionally served hot, along with celery sticks and carrot sticks with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing for dipping. Locals refer to them merely as "wings".

Buffalo wings have gained in popularity in the United States and abroad, with some North American restaurant chains featuring them as a main menu item. The name “ Buffalo" is now also applied to other spiced fried foods served with dipping sauces, including boneless chicken "fingers",  chicken fries, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, and shrimp. It also describes other dishes, such as pizza, that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or a Buffalo flavor seasoning.

LIKE ANYTHING ELSE THERE IS DISPUTE

There are several different claims about the invention of Buffalo wings.  One of the claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar with husband Frank in 1964. At the time chicken wings were inexpensive and undesirable, primarily being used for stock or soup.

Several versions of the story of the invention of the Buffalo wing have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others including:

  • Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.
  • Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa's son) told The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980: "It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again." He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.
  • There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.
  • Although an article published about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper during 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings, a local competitor of the Anchor Bar, Duff's Famous Wings, began selling Buffalo wings in that year.
  • Another claim is that a man named John Young, who moved to Buffalo from Alabama in 1948, began serving uncut chicken wings that were breaded, deep fried and served in his own special tomato based “  Mambo Sauce” at his Buffalo restaurant beginning in 1964.
  • Prior to opening his restaurant he had a conversation with a boxer who traveled and in a later interview Mr. Young recalled: “ He told me that there was a restaurant in Washington, DC that was doing a good business with wings and I decided to specialize".
  • In the same interview Young stated that the Anchor Bar didn’t offer Buffalo wings as a regular menu item until 1974.  He registered the name of his restaurant, John Young’s Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving the Buffalo area in 1970.  In 2013, at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, held in Buffalo, New York, John Young’s contributions were acknowledged when he was inducted into the festival's National Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame.
  • In 1977 the city of Buffalo issued an official proclamation celebrating Anchor Bar co-owner Frank Bellissimo and declared July 29,1977 to be Chicken Wing Day.  
  • Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Buffalo wings gained in popularity as a bar food and appetizer across the United States and Canada.  Large franchises specializing in Buffalo wings have emerged, notably Buffalo Wild Wings founded in 1982 and Hooter’s in 1983.  
  • McDonald’s made an attempt and tried selling their “ Mighty Wings”  as an optional item in 1990 at their restaurant locations in the United States. That ended very quickly, they were disgusting and overly priced like the rest of their corporate garbage.  In 1994, following four Super Bowl appearances by the Buffalo Bills football team, the Domino’s pizza chain added Buffalo wings to their national menu, followed by Pizza Hut the next year.

CREATIVE WING-DINGS

  • As the market for chicken wings became larger, restaurants began to create and use a variety of sauces in addition to buffalo sauce.  Some of these new chicken wing sauces were influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines.   
  • Other flavors created by restaurants include unique combinations, such as Blueberry BBQ Wing Sauce and Maple/Bacon Glaze for example, to help keep customer interest and grow their businesses.   
  • Because of the increased cost in the price of chicken wings, and a desire by some diners for a neater eating experience, restaurants began to offer a menu item called “boneless wings,” sometimes marketed under the name “  WYNGZ".
  • Bone-less wings are essentially small pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast that are coated in flour and spices then fried or baked. They are usually coated in or served with similar sauces as chicken wings. The growth of popularity in recent years in Buffalo wing consumption and restaurants serving wings have led to actual and perceived shortages of chicken wings in the United States during certain times.
  • In many areas of the United States chicken wing festivals are held with Buffalo wings being used in competitive eating events, such as at Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl and the National Buffalo Wing Festival.   It has also become commonplace for restaurants to offer a wing eating contest featuring a customer eating a certain number of wings, coated in their hottest sauce during a set period of time.
  • Many bars and restaurants intentionally create an extra-hot sauce for this purpose, and customers are usually rewarded with their picture posted on the restaurant’s wall or website, a commemorative T-shirt, a free meal or a combination of rewards for successfully completing the challenge.

AND A FREE APPOINTMENT WITH A LOCAL COLON SPECIALIST AS
WHAT GOES IN MUST EVENTUALLY COME OUT


WING IT LEFTOVERS

COMMON SENSE
Poultry requires very careful handling to avoid foodborne illness and in the culinary field the dreaded cross- contamination.

Poultry should be used with within two days of purchase or frozen immediately as I do when I purchase large amounts of cut poultry like bulk packaged chicken breasts or thighs, legs and rarely only if required wings from SAM’s or COSTCO.

The next step is critical and time sensitive to prevent contamination.   I wash either the breasts, boneless and skinless thighs in cold water, portion them, pat dry and double seal them in food wrap till I’m ready to use them. 

You have to be careful as these parts may contain bad boys and splashing them all over the kitchen can contaminate.

Hint: I use a baster to get (Suck mode) the last of the air out if all I have is Zip-Locks I then constantly wash my hands and any surfaces they may have touched with either soap, vinegar and water or Clorox Clean-up.

Preferably you should thaw poultry in the refrigerator,  the microwave makes rubber chicken, and never leave it on the counter. Do not bring it down to room temperature, a little colder than room temperature till it hits the hot pan or oil is preferred.  Well-cooked poultry is safe. Rewash it, before using and pat dry with paper towels.  It is the skin that carries most of the dangerous microbes. 


BUFFALO WINGS and THIGHS

Most Buffalo-style wings are deep fried, 7-9 minutes in restaurant circles in a 350-375 control temperature fryer.  I do not care for the eBay, HSN,  Amazon cheap home deep fryers, I have seen and been witness to a runaway fryer and oil burns.  They are just too dangerous in a non-professional environment with uncontrolled kids in the kitchen. 
And your kitchen will start to stink and eventually get coated with a light coat of oil.  Happy Cleaning.

During the holidays, it’s a good time to teach kids to cook if they are old enough, mature enough, interested and if you can get their attention away from toys and gifts.  Here is a trick I use, I put caution tape up to keep the little ones out.  I do not fry foods in the house, the restaurant is a controlled environment and thats OK, different story. 

If you ever watched Ramsey when he goes into a kitchen, the fryer grill are is usually unsanitary and greased up.  Holidays gatherings are not a good time with extra people and kids running in and out of the kitchen. Besides again and I don’t care for the bullshit by TV shills that their fryers will not stink up your house and leave a nice coat of oil on all the surfaces.


TRY THIS IF YOU MUST DO THE WING THING   (Get Rid of Husband) 
I pan fried some wings in a large iron skillet after dredging in egg-wash and flour in olive and canola oil mixed 50/50, then egg-wash again and dip into Doritos Barbecue flavored chips smashed to death in a gallon size Ziplock bag, or your blender, and then the WINGS and THIGHS were shaken together.  The Doritos (or Lays) have many flavors you can play with and the results usually work out well.  Lay them out on a pan in a 350 degree oven for about Thirty minutes.

Prior to pan frying the chicken,I had softened celery, onions, green pepper, scallions and a small shredded carrot, then combined the two for final assembly. Actually I cheated I used two pans and cut the time in half.  I then poured over a mixture of melted butter and Franks liquid hot sauce, some with Teriyaki Sauce.

For bigger portions, the Doritos wings worked great in the oven foil trays from GFS [Gordon Food Service]  with the prepped veggies and no muss no fuss and came out ready for ten hungry people. Nothing survived, they ate the whole enchilada.

The GREAT WING SAUCE WARS

Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce Regular. I used regular which is hot enough, because the hot is really hot.  Others preferred Crystal. This is an on-going battle here in the South, Franks and Crystal have been going at it for decades. It’s a cult thing but they do have two distinct flavors.  

Both of these hot sauces are readily available in most grocery stores and don't be surprised to find fifteen other sauces plus another fifteen other than Buffalo.  Place sauce and melted butter in a deep Tupperware  bowl, add the cooked wings, cover and shake well.  I pull them out with tongs or dump them on a strainer with the same bowl size on the bottom and let them drain.

I mix Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing with Franks regular for a lighter combo and they love it.  I also mix it stronger with a kittle rice vinegar for a sauce used on sushi called Dynamite sauce.

Lately with age, I now use, endorse, love, damn thats good, give me more, incredible sauces by Sweet Baby Ray. literally tossed or used up everything else I have in my pantry for Sweet Baby Ray’s sauces.


PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Wings, an American favorite started as the trash part of the chicken and mainly considered useless.  Culinary entrepreneurs embraced them. The four or five salient popularity points for a restaurant to sell wings are:

They are easy to count, portion and inventory and you can make them a zillion different ways.  Wings can stay frozen and don’t spoil, but most importantly they are very popular.  Their success pushed by the restaurant trade is simple...




PROFITABLE IN MORE WAYS
The last, being the most important point obviously. Profitable is also involved in training help, with fast no prep work, as they come in bulk, frozen, right to the fryer, dip in a toss bowl and serve.

To be authentic, and if you just made them conventionally, you'll need to accompany your hot wings with fresh, crisp celery and blue cheese dressing, both of which are said to help ease the heat of the hot wings and thighs. 

I just don’t make it too hot, folks can add all the Aqua Regia or Molten Lava (an actual brand of hot-sauce)  they want, so the rest of us can watch their innards drip onto the floor in the TV show, ER TRAUMA TODAY… 

As you get older (and wiser) you adjust. Too many of the hot dishes today seem to be going ballistic with TV cooks dare-eating shows with hosts that have alimentary canals made of cast iron.  Later in life they will get to meet PBTN, the trifecta, Pepto Bismol, Tums and Nupercainal.   

PROMOTES BEER SALES
I do however prefer a liberal amount of Coors, Miller Lite or Shock Top with a slice of orange added to kill the heat pain.  A six-pack for two is appropriate. 

The leftover sauce, I served it over rice for the veggies content that cooked with the wings. The sauce made a nice combo, I put it in a gravy bowl,  so remember to put out spoons and forks. The plates came back clean except for bones so I know they liked the veggies. 

Note: you can also bake the chicken in a 350-375  degree oven for about a half to 3/4 hour if you are not a pan frier and trying to save your arteries and veins.