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RECIPE: Barbecued Buffalo Wings


Buffalo wings are the ultimate American football-watching snack food. In the US, these segments of chicken wings are traditionally steamed, deep-fried, and finally glazed in chilli butter.  

They are then served with a blue cheese dip. But my version, quite simply, is better than the American classic because all things are better barbecued. Especially if the barbecuing involves hickory smoke.

First, crumble a quantity of blue cheese ? ideally Roquefort, but Gorgonzola piccante also works ? into Best Foods or Hellman’s mayo. Try two generous chunks of cheese, each about the size of a golf ball, in a cup of mayo. Mash, and then thin the mixture with fresh lemon juice. Cover and chill.

Prepare a dozen wings: snip off and discard the tips and divide the remaining section into two by slicing through the joint. Drizzle with EV olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. And then grill.

Any decent barbecue will do the job, but I use a well-oiled, cast-iron insert grill in a Weber kettle or a cast iron grill in a kamado-style barbecue, both at around 200?C ?remembering to drop some hickory chips on to the charcoal. Position the wings on the grill and drop the lid. Turn the wings after five minutes, and again after another five. In fact, turn them as often as you like. They will cook in around 15 minutes.

Now, make your chilli glaze: Place 125g unsalted butter in a saucepan over gentle heat, squirt sriracha chilli sauce (widely available, but use the Tuong Ot ‘Rooster’ brand) over the butter until it is well covered and stir as it melts. Ensure the butter and sauce are combined, and do not let them split.

Place the cooked wings in a bowl and pour on the butter and chilli glaze, tossing to coat evenly. Lift on to a platter to drain and cool slightly before serving alongside the dip. Pick one up, plunge it into the blue-cheese dip, eat, be amazed. But don’t double-dip.

And do not, under any circumstances, move to Buffalo, NY, where these wings were created: it is nowhere near as cool a city as these wondrous wings might suggest.