Buffalo wings have many fans, spurring chefs to create their own unique plays on the saucy, spicy finger food. Here are four winning takes.
This article first appeared in the 1 November 2008 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Kate Leahy, Senior Associate Editor
Chile Chicken Wings (pictured above)
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami. They may resemble traditional Buffalo wings in appearance, but a blend of soy sauce, tahini, ginger, garlic and a bottled Asian chile sauce makes Chef Michael Schwartz's wings a standout. They're complemented with a cool dip of cucumbers, Greek yogurt and fresh mint for an eclectic global flavor pairing.
Buffalo Wings, Deconstructed
Lockwood, Chicago. Chef Phillip Foss braises chicken in duck fat, pulls the meat off the bone and then shapes it into a cylinder around blue-cheese stuffing. Once cooled, it's cut into thick discs and skewered with a chicken bone. The "wings" are fried to order and served with celery leaves, blue-cheese crumbles, walnuts and a drizzle of tangy, Buffalo-style sauce.
Stuffed Chicken Wings
The Bristol, Chicago. Chorizo stuffing is one of the traits that differentiates Chef Chris Pandel's boneless chicken wings. Another is the cooking method. Instead of frying the wings, Pandel pan-sears them to allow the skin to caramelize. Blue-cheese sauce and a celery-and-parsley salad complete the dish.
Buffalo Wild Wings, multiple locations. Customers can order these bone-in wings (or choose boneless) by the half-dozen and select from 14 signature sauces that range in heat from mild to "Blazin'." In classic style, the chicken comes with celery sticks and either blue-cheese or ranch-dressing dipping sauce on the side.