When we think of a big platter of steaming hot freshly-fried chicken wings, we tend to think of them prepared Buffalo-style, slathered in a mixture of butter and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. But there’s a whole world of wing sauces and toppings out there to try, and from a peanut butter and jelly wing in Virginia to a cheese and pepperoni-topped version in Atlanta, we’ve tracked down 12 of the wildest non-traditional chicken wings in America.
The story of the invention of Buffalo wings is one that by this point has entered popular culinary lore. As legend has it, on the evening of March 4, 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the famed Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., with his mother Teressa in the kitchen. When a group of his hungry friends showed up, Dominic asked Teressa to whip up some food for them, so she took some chicken wings, which were intended to go into the stockpot, and instead tossed them in the deep fryer. She concocted a simple butter- and hot sauce-based sauce, mixed them together, and arguably the greatest bar food of all time was born. Click here to see the 25 Best Buffalo Wings in America.
But why stop at butter and hot sauce? Chicken is one of those foods that’s a blank slate for countless flavor combinations, and over the years chefs have gotten inventive to the point of delicious ridiculousness. They concoct new and wild sauces to toss them in, like Margarita Ranch; they take traditional Asian sauces and reinvent them for a new generation; they dial the heat level up to 11 and then tack your photo to the wall if you can eat a dozen of them.
With the Super Bowl coming up, wings seem to be on everybody’s mind. Sure, they’re still tasty when prepared traditionally, but there’s a whole world of insane (and insanely delicious) wings out there to try, and plenty of inventive chefs who are looking to think outside the box and create unique and wild interpretations of this classic bar snack. So read on to learn all about 12 of America’s wildest wings, and hopefully you’ll feel inspired to mix things up for your own party come game day.