Recipes from Joy of Cooking rewritten so they're possible in a small kitchen on a small budget. Enjoy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Buffalo Wings & Bleu Cheese Dressing

All right, let's start cooking. There’s some sections in the beginning of this book about nutrition and how to entertain people with food, but seriously, a quick trip to Wikipedia will tell you all you need to know. Do you really care about the proper table setting for a meal that includes a soup and a dessert? Hell no. If you’re throwing a party, you’re serving cheap snacks and cheap beer. Your guests won’t care, because it’s free.

Well, unless you’re charging your friends $5 a head, but if you are, you’re throwing terrible parties and you hate your friends.

So since we’re on the subject of parties, let’s do a classic party snack. Wings sound good?

Buffalo Chicken Wings

The original recipe is simple enough, but it calls for a deep fryer. Do you have a deep fryer in your dorm room? Well, if you do, just go find the original recipe, ‘cause I’m assuming you don’t.

To make this easier, I’m bolding all the pots and utensils you’ll need to make this, so if you have absolutely nothing, you know what to get.

1 ½ pounds chicken wings (bone-in)
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Vegetable oil
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar (both are pricier than simple white vinegar, but trust me, the taste difference matters)
2 tbsp Tabasco (or other hot pepper sauce)

Preheat oven to 200°. (This is not completely necessary, but it does make the wings taste better.)
Remove the wing tips from the chicken—that’s just the final joint and the bone after it. Now you should have chicken wings with one joint each in them, so cut all the pieces in two at the joint.
By joint I mean where the bones connect. I shouldn’t have to say that, but if you’re from my college…
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper.
Coat the wings in the flour mixture, and set them aside.
Fill a saucepan with an inch of oil. Heat on the stove over medium heat. It’s hot enough when you drop in a wing and you hear a sizzle. Or, you could splash a little bit of water in and it will spit at you and go all crazy. I wouldn’t recommend that, as you’ll probably burn yourself.
Drop in all the wings and fry them till the coating is golden brown and the chicken is thoroughly cooked (180° if you have a thermometer, or if you cut a piece open, it should all be white, no pink).
Pull the chicken out of the oil (using tongs or a fork or something, not your bare hands!) and place them on a paper towel to drain. If you have a preheated oven, put them in there to keep them warm. If not, just put them aside.
Empty the saucepan, then wash and dry it. Put it back on the stove, over low heat. Drop the butter in it and let the butter melt.
Once the butter is melted, remove the saucepan from heat (just turn off the burner if you’re using a gas stove, but if you’re using electric you need to literally move it elsewhere). Mix the vinegar and Tabasco in with the butter.
Take your chicken out of the oven. If it was not in the oven, you may want to microwave it for a few seconds to get it warm again.
Put the wings in a bowl large enough to hold all of them. Pour the sauce onto the wings and toss until all the wings are coated.
Serve them now because cold wings suck. You might want some celery on the side.

Don’t worry if the flour on the wings comes off when you put them in the pan. It’ll do that. Just cook them like normal, and they’ll be crispy enough.
You may want to add more Tabasco than the recipe calls for. I thought it was good, but my boyfriend complained the sauce was too mild.
These wings will not look like buffalo wings that you get from a store. They certainly don’t look like the ones from my local wings place. But trust me, they taste the same.

And you probably want something to go with those wings, right?

Bleu Cheese Dressing

Yeah that’s right, you get two recipes. Now I’ll admit that it would be far cheaper to just buy some bottled dressing, but it wouldn’t taste as good. If you think people won’t really care, go for the bottled. If you want to really impress people—and why not? you've already got homemade wings—make this dressing too.

1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes (I always buy dried herbs instead of fresh—they’re initially more expensive, but they’ll last longer)
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar (use the same vinegar from the wings recipe)
1 tsp minced garlic or ¼ tsp garlic powder
6 dashes Worcestershire sauce (I have heard soy sauce or steak sauce is an appropriate substitute, but the taste will be different)
Salt and pepper
4 oz Roquefort or other blue cheese

Add all ingredients except for the salt, pepper, and cheese to a blender. Mix until it is one smooth consistency.
Add the cheese to the mixture, and again mix until smooth.
Taste and add salt and pepper as you think it’s needed.

And, my currently nonexistent readers, I must of course give credit for the original recipes on which these are based. If you want the original and more complicated version, read Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. Seriously, this classic and influential cookbook has a recipe for wings, you guys. It’s worth a look.

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