Buffalo Chicken Wings

Buffalo chicken wings. You know what we’re talking about. The original. Just like what you get at the bar down the street. They’re fried, not baked. They’re spicy. And they’re surprisingly easy to make in the comfort of your own home.

A bowl of buffalo chicken wings with a bottle of beer, a shot glass of raw vegetables, and a cup of dip on the side.

These Buffalo chicken wings are just as awesome as the ones you love to order by the platter at your favorite bar but boast the added bonus that you can revel in them from the comfort of your own couch. Fried until crisp and tossed in a buttery hot sauce, these Buffalo chicken wings are simply satisfying as heck but aren’t quite complete without a cold beer.–Angie Zoobkoff

Buffalo Chicken Wings FAQs

Why are they called Buffalo wings?

There are several claims about the invention of Buffalo wings but the general consensus is that they’re named after the city in the state of New York. Most stories can be traced back to the Anchor Bar, in Buffalo, around 1964. At that time, wings weren’t used for much more than making stock so they were a cheap resource. While the reasons why are disputed, the owners of the Anchor Bar deep-fried and sauced those wings and a legend was born.

Why do I have to let the wings sit after they’ve been coated with flour?

Coating wings with flour before frying gives them a nice crisp finish without actually breading them. If you leave the flour-dusted wings in the fridge for an hour, the skin will dry further, without losing moisture from the meat. The flour absorbs just enough moisture to give you that crunchy skin that Buffalo wings are known for.

I have full wings, instead of pieces. How do I separate them?

Buying full wings, instead of “party wings” that are already separated, is a good idea for a few reasons–they’re cheaper on average and you’ll also have a bag of wingtips at the end to add to stock. Use kitchen shears or a decent chef’s knife to cut through the joints. Feel down the wing and find the two joints on either side of the flat–where it wiggles is where you cut. Snip or chop right through the knuckle and that’s it!

Buffalo Chicken Wings

A bowl of buffalo chicken wings with a bottle of beer, a shot glass of raw vegetables, and a cup of dip on the side.
Yes, you can make spicy fried classic buffalo chicken wings at home. And it's easier than you may think. Here's how.

Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
Total 2 hrs 30 mins
Appetizers
American
4 servings
499 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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Equipment

  • Deep-fry or candy thermometer

Ingredients 

For the Buffalo chicken wings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 20 medium (2 lbs total) chicken wings, preferably a mix of drumettes and wings

For the hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup your fave red hot pepper sauce, whether Frank’s or Louisiana or Crystal’s or Tabasco or whatever
  • 2 pinches ground black pepper
  • 3 pinches garlic powder
  • Mild vegetable oil for frying
  • Your fave blue cheese dip or buttermilk dressing for dipping

Directions
 

Prep the Buffalo chicken wings

  • Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake the bag to combine the spices. Toss the chicken wings in the bag, seal it, and shake to coat the wings evenly with the spices and flour. Toss the bag in the refrigerator for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Fry the Buffalo chicken wings

  • About an hour before you’re ready to dive into a plate of wings, attach a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of a large, deep skillet, pour in enough oil to reach a depth of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm), and heat the oil until it registers 375°F (190°C). (Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)
  • When the oil reaches the proper temperature, carefully place some of the wings in the oil, working in batches of 7 or 8 wings at a time. Be warned that the oil will bubble pretty furiously when you add the wings. Fry the chicken wings, turning occasionally, until the wings begin to turn a golden to dark brown color and the wings are cooked through, anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your wings. Using tongs, place the wings on a brown paper bag to drain. Wait for the oil to return to 375°F (190°C) before repeating with more chicken wings.

Make the hot sauce

  • While you fry the chicken wings, combine the butter, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Keep it over low heat until the butter melts and the ingredients are well blended. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.

Assemble the Buffalo chicken wings

  • Dump the fried wings into a large bowl. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the fried wings and toss to coat them. Serve immediately with your fave dip or dressing and napkins aplenty.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 5wingsCalories: 499kcal (25%)Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 36g (55%)Saturated Fat: 18g (113%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 121mg (40%)Sodium: 1145mg (50%)Potassium: 228mg (7%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 999IU (20%)Vitamin C: 24mg (29%)Calcium: 27mg (3%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These Buffalo chicken wings were absolutely fantastic. They came out perfect—nicely browned, crisp skin, tender and juicy chicken meat, and the sauce was very good and not overly spicy.

Very nice Buffalo chicken wings recipe. Thanks to coating the wings in flour and spices and letting them sit for an hour, you get a really nice flavor and super crispiness. I used smoked paprika and it gave the wings a nice extra layer of flavor. I used my wok for frying. It took about 12 minutes to fry the wings to a golden brown. I did the wings in 2 batches. I made this as an appetizer for 3 and it was enough.

Originally published January 28, 2017

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Comments

    1. Penny, we haven’t tried this in an air fryer, so we can’t say for certain how they’ll turn out. I suspect it would work if you followed the directions but sprayed them lightly with oil or cooking spray before adding to the air fryer. As with all air fryer recipes, you want them to be in a single layer and not crowded. I’d try cooking them at 400°F for about 20 minutes. If you try it, do let us know how they turn out. If any of our readers have experience making these in the air fryer, we’d love to hear from you.

  1. 5 stars
    These were absolutely outrageous—the best I’ve ever had! So so crispy. Though we found that 2 lbs was only about 10 drumettes! We will double or triple the recipe for our next gathering. I used gluten free flour due to guest sensitivities.

  2. I am a big fan of your website and recipe work … I oversee a school lunch program with a very varied and made from scratch menus. I would like to serve chicken wings as part of a menu, but do not have a fryer. I was wondering if anyone has adapted this recipe to work using a hot oven instead of a fryer. Thanks

    1. Mark, many thanks for your kind words! We, in turn, are impressed and humbled by the work you do. No small feat there. We haven’t tried adapting this recipe, but let’s see if anyone else chimes in with thoughts. In the meantime, perhaps take a look at our Peppery Chicken Wings and our Spicy Baked Chicken Wings for inspiration. Both set the oven to 375°F and suggest 45 to 60 minutes. I’ll let you take things from here…best of luck and please let us know how it goes!

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