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Healthier Buffalo Wings

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Recently I tried buffalo wings for the first time. Pretty good stuff. However, I want to eat a lot of them, and I'd like to find a recipe or technique that will provide something close to the original in taste but with lower fat, calories, and salt.

Playing around with chicken breast meat and tenders seems like a good place to start, and developing a nice, thick sauce shouldn't be too hard. There are numerous recipes available, including the original. So, anyone got some ideas for healthier wings?

I though that the tenders could be breaded, baked, and then given a nice soak in the sauce and then heated some more to caramelize the sauce a bit. Or baked for a while, add the sauce, and then continue baking until finished.

The original sauce recipe supposedly contains cayenne pepper, vinegar, salt, garlic and margarine, although for wings I may want something with a little sweetness in the background. I think the margerine helps the sauce to stick to the breaded meat, but if one is baking the sauce on to the wings, I wonder if the margerine is really needed.

Shel
post #2 of 17
I prefer to season wings with a good spicy dry rub (start with a cajun/creole/blackening spice) and grill them. No fat from frying, no fat from the margarine and you render out the fat from the wings and crisp them up. Still spicy and good in the bluecheese dip.

These are even better smoked for a while.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 17
After smoking the wings, do you then grill them quickly to crisp the skin? I love the taste of smoked chicken, but find the consistency of smoked chicken skin a little off putting.

Kevin
post #4 of 17
Yes, the skin of smoked chicken can be rubbery. Grilling does help crisp it up.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 17
We do exactly as phatch does except we grill and don't smoke em. (I find the ends of those little suckers don't stay lit so it makes it tough to smoke em with any success! ;) bwahahahaha (joke) ) ahem... now back to the recipe:

I let the dry rub stay on the wings for 24 hours if at all possible. Meaning I toss em with the rub the day before.

This is an all around yummy herb mix that's a take off of Paul Prudhomme's stuff. It's not an exact science. I just mix basic ratios. So play around with it and adjust it to your preference. I throw this on veggies, all types of meats and seafoods, it's crazy really. Good stuff.

Blue Zebra Spice Rub: (these are crushed herbs for the most part, not ground)

1 Part Dried Basil
1 Part Dried Thyme
1 Part Dried Oregano
1 Part Dried Parsley
1/2 Part Cayenne Pepper, ground (Can use crushed red pepper if your prefer)
1/2 Part Black Pepper
1/4 Part White Pepper
1/4 Part Dried Rosemary
2 Parts Granulated Garlic (not the powder kind)
2 Parts Kosher Salt (I go light on the salt and add it extra if needed)

I make this up and keep it in it's own spice bottle. It's awesome on grilled veggies. Toss cut veg with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with the herb mix and let sit a few hours. Then grill. Yum!!!
post #6 of 17
What makes buffalo wings, buffalo wings????
Fry'em, toss'em in sauce, eat'em......I think they
are what they are....can't really substitute much...
has to be a chicken wing.....and frying is not as unhealthy
as you think......they shouldn't be breaded either.....
post #7 of 17
Thank you, Steven.

I've been biting my tongue on this one, for all the reasons you provide. There are some things for which substitutions make no sense when the true gelt is available. Buffalo wings fall in that category.

Anyone who has a problem with classic Buffalo wings because of supposed health issues just needs to stay away from them.

More for me! :lips:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Interesting comments - as it turns out, at the site of the original buffalo wings, where they also sell sauce and dispense history, baking the wings is suggested as an alternative. :p

I don't have "health issues" wrt eating wings. I just desire lower fat, lower salt, less mess, easier cooking, and similar flavor.

Shel
post #9 of 17
I like buffalo wings. I like these better plus they are less greasy and less messy. Easier to make too.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 17
Yeap, if you do something totally different -they could be very good but not buffalo wings anymore.
So just call them something else.
By the way, I soak them in hot sauce first, then fry, then sauce.:)
post #11 of 17
First, I love Buffalo Wings as they are. With correction that (IMHO) margerine (as sticking agent) is less healthy than butter.
Speaking of healthier approach: don't grill w/spice rub or dip in sauce prior to frying, burning surface suggests carcinogens. I would bake on a rack with S&P, then sauce and return to hotter oven to finish for a few. Cutting fat from sauce mixture will make it diet-worthy :D

As for white meat, flat tenders or "fingers" (traditional here in NY) are overcook-prone. Nuggets would work better

C
WE ARE NOT SELLING FOOD...WE ARE IMPROVING OUR CLIENT'S LIFESTYLE - HIS LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO EAT SOMETHING HE DOESN'T LIKE
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WE ARE NOT SELLING FOOD...WE ARE IMPROVING OUR CLIENT'S LIFESTYLE - HIS LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO EAT SOMETHING HE DOESN'T LIKE
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post #12 of 17
Wings is wings is wings. Sometimes when you try to fix something that ain't broke like making it easier, reducing mess or even to try and make them healthier it takes the original idea and makes it different. Well Duh you say but you no longer have Buffalo wings but Hot wings. So.....Why reinvent the wheel?;)

Many of you know that Buffalo wings originated in Buffalo NY. Okay so I guess the purist would say if they're not from Buffalo then they're not "REAL" Buffalo wings. So if you make and serve them the way they were intended that's how, imo, you can get Buffalo wings outside of Buffalo.

If you really want Buffalo wings at the least without the mess the click here. Welcome to Buffalowings.com!

Other than cost, allbeit not as bad as some places, you can't get any more simple than this. As far as healthy goes?????? Well if you're not scarfing down 30-40 a week then once in a while shouldn't kill ya..

Personally I like both Buffalo and Hot wings. Having lived up in that area of the country for a few years gave me the appreciation for the difference.:smiles:
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
And, if you read the site carefully, you'll see a recipe/technique for healthier wings. So, it seems that even the originators of Buffalo Wings can see more than one way to make 'em.

I've been very happy breaking the rules and fixing what ain't broke and enjoying some tasty alternatives to the original wings. Let's just call 'em an homage to Buffalo Wings.

On a somewhat parenthetical note, I saw an Alka Seltzer commercial last night, and one of the actors was eating Buffalo Wings, except they weren't wings, but, rather, they looked like breaded and sauced chicken tenders. Mmm.... I could eat a million of 'em.

Shel
post #14 of 17
Well allrighty then!

But for the record and after several dozen trips to that website over the years........ There is absolutly no specific reference to a "healthier" procedure. Here is a link to the recipe page. Welcome to Buffalowings.com!

IMHPO, I believe baking, if that's what you're refering to as "healthier" is offered as an alternative to deepfrying for folks that don't have a Keating or Fryolator in the home.

Also IMHPO, By baking the wings, allbeit perceived healthier, they are really not. As EvenStephen mentioned (well sort of), if the wings are fried correctly, they are about the same in caloric and fat content. Frying renders more fat out of the skin than baking will at 425deg. So 12 baked wings are still close to 1400 (estimated) calories when you sauce them and then add in the BC dressing. No matter what you do, bake or fry, it's still 1400+ calories.

But it all comes back to what the topic was about Healthier wings. Then it was to reduce the mess. Fine, that's all well and good but chicken tenders/fingers/breasts cut in strips etc are not chicken wings. It was stated that Then it's thrown back that So exactly how long have you been at this???

You can grill'em, bake'em, smoke'em or concoct any number of other BC methods other than frying and all you have is a piece of chicken with hot sauce. If it doesn't have bones and a joint it's not a wing. I gotta tell ya I certainly wasn't taking the hard stand as a "purist" about the use of "Buffalo" or even "wings" but dawgawnit, I won't post something that I'm not at the least 99% sure about. But for some strange reason things are taken far more personally than they are intended. Broadbased statements are what it's about.

Ya want healthier? Skip the wings, dip the celery in the sauce and have at it. You can eat a buschel of them by doing that!
post #15 of 17
Maybe a Wing-cicle??

Freeze the sauce on a stick, and then you get away from all that fat, mess, and slippery fingers...

Cool yet spicy, all at the same time!!
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #16 of 17
That's phunny! Hey how about Chocolate/chipotle fudge bars?:rolleyes:
post #17 of 17
:bounce:DISCLAIMER::bounce:
I'm on one of the more extreme ends of what is considered healthy.

Nothing wrong with fat, calories, or salt!

When I want to cook healthy anything, I start by taking out the food additives, and don't use any refined flour or sugars in my recipe. I'd make the sauce with 100% certified organic ingredients. Better yet, I'd grow the peppers myself.

For better eats, use free-range, certified organic chicken. There is so much the FDA labels don't say!

For the Blue cheese, use only raw, non-homogeneous/non-pasteurized brands, if you must insist on dairy.

If your food is too salty, drink more water! Problem solved. Salt=high blood pressure=bad is so completely wrong we are being brainwashed.
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