Wait? Portuguese-inspired… Buffalo-style… huh?
Today I’ll be talking about a marriage that happened in our kitchen; the coming together of two of my loves—my love for buffalo wings and Portuguese cuisine. Sound odd? Just wait. You’re about to be pleasantly surprised.
Today’s post is about finger-licking, pallet-pleasing, taste-bud delighting… Chicken Wings. Oh these chicken wings!
How far would you drive for wings?
In our house, we’re all big fans of chicken wings. Those meaty saucy pieces of chicken are such a yummy treat for us! It’s not uncommon for a typical end-of-week dinner to include a visit to one of our local chicken wing restaurants.
Liz and I have great story from our pre-children days. Our good friends, John and Mannie, called us up and asked if we wanted to go out for wings. We didn’t hesitate. Our answer was, “Sure! Where should we meet you?”. They said to bring our passports because we were going to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. This meant driving for 2 hours and crossing the border to the United States. Liz and I loved road trips…and wings…so this was a no-brainer.
The border crossing was a little funny. We were asked, (insert deep intimidating guard voice and stare here) “What’s the reason for your visit to the United States?” “Dinner” I replied. “Just dinner? Where are you heading?” The guard seemed to understand our need to cross the border when we said we were going to the Anchor Bar. “Enjoy your stay”, he said before allowing us to cross.
That trip, the company and the food, were awesome! This restaurant is, after all, the brain-child behind chicken wings as we know them today.
I’m a huge fan of buffalo chicken wings. The sauce is butter-based with added spices, acidity and heat. Does any of that sound bad to you? No way!
Our blog offers variety of recipes, often based on foods from different areas of the world, but if you’ve followed our blog for a little while, you’ve likely noticed that we lean a little towards food from our Portuguese roots. This is why I decided to try a little Portuguese twist with this chicken wing recipe.
What is Peri Peri sauce?
Peri Peri sauce is a style of Portuguese piri piri chili sauce, made famous by Nando’s Chicken restaurants. This is a restaurant chain that was founded in South Africa and specializes in bbq chicken, basted in this tasty hot sauce.
Our recipe uses store-bought peri peri sauce that’s available at many grocery stores around the world. If you have a hard time finding this sauce at your local grocery store, you can also pick up a bottle at one of the 1000 Nando’s locations across 35 countries (wow, these guys sure have expanded)! I also found many recipes for the sauce online. If you’re having trouble finding the sauce at your grocer, try one of the many peri peri recipes out there.
Here’s where the culinary marriage came in. I decided to combine butter, peri peri sauce and a few extra ingredients to make something reminiscent of my favourite chicken wings and Portuguese flavours all in one.
Have you ever seen a group of happy people gnawing on chicken wings in silence, enjoying the food so much they can’t pull away to speak? That was the scene at our dining room table while eating these wings:-).
This recipe was a big hit at home, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be making it again soon. Try marrying some of your favourite flavours to see what you come up with. Or, call up some friends, go on a road trip and find some tasty food. Whatever you do, always eat well, friends!
Portuguese Inspired Buffalo-style Chicken Wings
- 4 lbs (1.8 kg) whole chicken wings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Oil for deep frying. This will depend on your cooking vessel.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cups medium heat peri peri sauce (or hot if you prefer)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- In a sauce pan, melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter over medium heat.
- Add the peri peri sauce, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar.
- Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and whisk for about 2 minutes. Set the pot aside.
- Separate each of the whole wings into 3 pieces... drumlets, winglets and tips. Discard the tips.
- Place the drumlets and winglets in a large container with a lid.
- Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of black pepper over the chicken.
- Place the lid on the container and shake well to coat the wings with seasoning.
- Remove the lid, add the flour and replace the lid.
- Shake well until all the wing pieces are coated with flour. Set the coated wings aside in the fridge.
- Turn the oven on and set it to 200 ºF
- Heat the oil in the fryer (or other cooking vessel) to around 355 ºF give or take 5 ºF. Too much hotter will burn the wings before they're cooked on the inside, and too much cooler will make the wings soggy.
- Once the oil is ready, place the wings in the oil, without over crowding the wings. We fried our wings in three batches.
- Fry the wings for about 8 minutes. *See notes for more information before frying.
- Place the cooked wings on a paper towel-lined serving dish to soak up some of the excess oil.
- Transfer the wings to an oven safe serving dish and place the dish in the oven to keep the wings hot while cooking the remaining wings.
- Repeat the last three steps until all the wings are fried.
- Reheat the wing sauce a touch on low for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Place all the cooked wings in the same large container that was used to toss the wings in the flour (make sure it's washed and dried before adding the cooked wings).
- Pour the wing sauce over the wings and place the lid tightly on the container.
- Toss the wings until they're completely coated.
- Pour the wings onto a serving dish and serve hot. Enjoy!
- Our drumlets and winglets were quite large, so we fried them for 8 minutes. These were crispy on the outside, juicy and well cooked on the inside. If you smaller pieces, test one wing at around 7 minutes for doneness.
- If you don't have a large enough container to toss the wings, use a smaller container and follow the same steps twice.