I love Buffalo wings.  

Oh, how I LOVE them! Thanks to The Husband, over these ten blissful years of married eating, I’ve developed a fine appreciation for them. All this talk of the Super Bowl in recent weeks has had me dreaming about some good, spicy, tangy Buffalo wings. Don’t get me wrong, I know nothing about football except that there’s a halftime show and this year it’s Coldplay. I bet they’ll kill it, but how I wish it was the Rolling Stones again!

 So anyway, they’ve been on my mind. No, not the Stones, the wings. Unfortunately (or fortunately) since early October last year, I’ve been on a healthy eating mission – yes, I got a jump on the typical New Year’s resolution thing and started early.

It was nice to bring in 2016 slightly trimmer than I was when 2015 rolled in. So when February shows up and brings with it a yearning for something like wings, what’s a slightly less pudgy Malaysian woman to do? Figure out how to make them healthier! AND SPICIER.

If I had one complaint about the Buffalo wings at our favorite local bar, it’s that while they are perfect in every other way, they’re never spicy enough. Ok, enough of that – time to make them as hot as I want.

Over the last two weeks, I scoured the internet for the best baked wings recipe. Okay, okay now – all you chicken wing aficionados – I see you shaking your heads. Stick with me for just a minute. What I found were lots of different methods for trying to get wings crispy and crunchy in the oven. Some suggested boiling the wings first, others steaming them then baking. I read recipe after recipe – none seemed convincing, not even my chef crush Alton Brown whose Thanksgiving Turkey recipe I have been making faithfully for almost ten years with great success!

Finally I found a recipe attributed to Cook’s Illustrated that just sounded like it might work – crispy wings in the oven that weren’t fried?

I hate frying – all that oily mess left to clean up! It suggested the following method – lay the wings out to dry uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, coat in a baking powder and salt mixture, bake at a low temperature for 30 minutes then at a high temperature for 50 minutes. It was the one method I’d read so far that I was willing to spend an evening and thirty chicken wings on.

The result was beautifully crisp wings – unbreaded, not fried and yet so wonderfully crisp that I thought I had found the Holy Grail. Once you’ve accomplished this, what you do with your wings in your own damn business – use whatever sauce, dressing, dip, ginger glaze, soy blahbbidy blah, sesame such-and-such floats your boat.

I had a craving to cure so it was straight up classic Frank’s Red Hot and butter, with one addition – a heaping tablespoon of Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen’s Hot Chilli Sambal to take the heat level WAY up. Here’s my version – the method is slightly tweaked for an even crispier wing experience.