Sriracha glazed buttermilk wings with
a blue cheese ranch dipping sauce
These wings are for sure a ‘treat food’, a good one for sharing and comfort food at its best! My eldest son thinks this is the best recipe he’s had from my book, The Forest Cantina HOME (big call, I know!), and he often asks: “So when are you making the wings again?!”. They were inspired by our trip to America and any time they had buffalo wings on the menu I would order it. This is my version of those USA memories.
Time: 15 minutes preparation | 30 minutes cooking
Makes: 25-35 wings, depending on their size
For the wings
1.5kg (3.3lbs) free-range chicken wings or nibbles
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne
2 litres (8 cups / ½ gal.) canola or vegetable oil for deep frying
For the Sriracha glaze
3/4 cup Sriracha hot sauce (yes 3/4 cup – trust me)
100g (3.5oz) butter, cubed
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
For the blue cheese ranch sauce
250g (1 cup / 9oz) sour cream
140g (5oz) blue cheese (I used Whitestone Windsor Blue)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Half bunch of celery, cut into sticks
To coat the chicken wings, place the buttermilk in a small bowl and set aside. In another larger bowl, combine the flour, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Stir well to combine. Get a tray with sides close by so that you can load the wings onto it as you coat them. To coat, dip each wing into the buttermilk, shaking off excess, then into the flour coating, using a spoon to toss well to cover and place on the tray as you go. Repeat until all your wings are done. Put in the fridge until you are ready to fry. (Note: You can do this the day before if you wish.)
For the Sriracha glaze, place the Sriracha, cubed butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, paprika, half teaspoon salt, and half teaspoon pepper into a medium-sized pot. Warm over medium/high heat, whisking until the butter has melted. Set aside for now.
Heat the oil in a pot or deep fryer to 190°C (375°F), testing with a candy thermometer if you have one. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test if the oil is ready by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling around the handle steadily (not too vigorously or too slowly) it's ready.
While the oil is coming up to temperature, make the dipping sauce. Put the sour cream, blue cheese, lemon juice, garlic and Worcestershire sauce into a blender with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Taste and check for seasoning, then pour into a bowl or individual ramekins and set aside.
Before you start frying, place a tray lined with paper towels next to the deep fryer. When the oil is hot, cook 8-9 wings at a time for 4-5 minutes (and about 8 minutes if using drumettes) or until golden brown and cooked through. To check, cut into the chicken at the bone – if the juices run clear it's cooked. When cooked, drain on the paper towels, and then quickly roll each piece in the Sriracha glaze, shaking off excess. Repeat until they are all done. Note: For those who don’t like the spicy heat from the glaze, just leave a few wings unglazed. Also, you can put the cooked wings in the oven on low to keep warm as you cook if you prefer.
To serve, I lined black plastic baskets with wax paper, placed the dipping sauce in little metal ramekins with a few celery stalks next to the sauce (the celery and the dipping sauce will take the edge off the heat, and the celery on its own is a nice ‘cleanser’), and then pile up the wings! Serve with a cold beer.