For most Americans, Buffalo wings are the default image that initially comes to their imagination at mere mention of the word “wings” in a food sense. Easily the most popular Super Bowl snacks, these hot ‘n spicy treats will have you sweating in ecstasy as you gnaw away at their golden-fried skin and juicy interior. 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo wing, and according to Anchor Bar, where these guys were invented, the three rules of wings are as follows: No breading; they’re always deep-fried; and the sauce will consist SOLELY of hot sauce and butter. They’re simple, fast, and truly effective.
For finger-lickin’ fantastic Peruvian wings, a marinade of lime juice, bay leaves, red chili flakes, garlic, cumin and paprika is augmented by Sauvignon Blanc and exquisite olive oil. To achieve the best flavor, barbecue them on a charcoal grill and garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper.
Korean wings call for a sauce of gojujang (Korean chili paste), soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil, along with pungent rice vinegar and sweet honey. Before the poultry gets to party in this delightful coating, it gets doused in a slurry of flour, cornstarch and water, and then is promptly deep-fried in 350 degree oil in two separate six-to-eight-minute rounds (the first to cook, the second to crisp).
Lemon juice, garlic, black pepper and herbs make these Greek chicken wings a cool alternative. The recipe calls for finishing them on the grill after baking them for an hour at 350 degrees, but that is totally optional (yet it will add some nice flavor, especially if you use charcoal). Dip them in a sauce of feta, sour cream and more fresh herbs and you’re ready for a Santorini-style soiree.
The use of pulverized tortilla chips as a dredging makes these Mexican wings truly unique. Before the chips come into play, however, you’ll need to infuse some corn oil with cumin, chili powder, cayenne powder and oregano (preferably from Mexico, of course). A quick dip of your wings in this spicy oil before rolling them around in the corn chip powder is just what they need before being baked to a crisp, golden brown.
Whether you refer to them as tapas or simply as “grub,” these smoked paprika-and-garlic-laced wings are to die for -- especially in extreme, Spanish style, such as getting trampled by a bull (we kid, we kid!). The key is to use a large skillet to ensure crispy skin, and additional flavorings of lemon juice, high quality olive oil and black pepper round out the profile of this palate-pleasing poultry.
Up in the mountains of Quèbec lies the ski town of Mont-Tremblant, where you’ll find a restaurant called La Forge that does wings a little differently. Forget chicken: these dudes use duck, first making the wings into confit and then deep-frying them to tender, unctuous perfection. Served with a nectarous maple sauce, these are an integral part of the après-ski experience at the Tremblant resort.
A mix of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger powder makes one extraordinarily flavorful and extremely easy marinade for chicken wings -- except for the fact you have to let them soak up the flavor for one to two days in advance of cooking for best results. Simply combine all these ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag, add your wings and zip it up, then put it in the fridge and ignore it (as best you can) for at least 24 hours. Finally, bake them at 350 degrees for about an hour, and enjoy.
If you guessed that Irish wings call for a healthy pour of Guinness (ok, a pour for the recipe and a few pints for the chef), you’d be luckier than Seamus O’Shaughnessey, the benefactor of a leprechaun who found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. A reduction of the Emerald Isle’s finest stout infused with carrots, onions, garlic and parsnips is sure to satisfy wing-eating football fans -- whether we’re talking American football or the real stuff -- anywhere this dish is served.
In South Africa, peri peri is a popular blend of ground red chiles, ginger and other spices, and it makes for a remarkably tasty rendition of the classic Buffalo wing. A dash of honey and soy sauce (don’t be confused by the use of “soya sauce” in the recipe; they’re the same thing, although sometimes people mean “tamari,” which is a stronger-than-average soy sauce, when they say “soya”) adds extra dimension, and baking instead of frying keeps the calorie count down.
These Malaysian wings combine ingredients you might recognize from Chinese and Japanese cuisine, like the famous aromatic combo of fresh garlic, ginger and scallions, mirin and sake, oyster sauce and soy sauce. A sweet accent from cinnamon, sugar and star anise completes the flavor profile of these outrageously good handheld snacks.