My friend Matt is down in the dictionary as the definition of ‘A Catch’. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, funny, easy on the eyes, a family man, of Polish/Burmese background and can quote The Simpsons with my boyfriend. He is also, quite literally, changing the world through his work. Matt’s a cancer biologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, where he’s also getting his PHD. He was runner up in the Cleo Bachelor of the year, proving that scientists are “just like us” (yea, RIGHT). And he was recently part of the MTV Movement campaign, which you can learn more about here.
He also once told me he can make excellent buffalo chicken wings. Shortly after, Jack and I lured him into our home and demanded he cook them for us, because that’s what you do to friends. You also write down every single aspect of the process as to steal the recipe and claim it as your own.
But really, these chicken wings were amazing, even better than the money draining wings you’ll find around Melbourne.
Now, down to business…
The tricky thing about buffalo chicken wings is that you need to create a perfect blend of soft and crispy. It’s an oxymoron of a dish! It’s all so scientific.
Matt’s Buffalo Chicken Wings
This version serves 3
What You’ll need:
1k of chicken wings, chopped at the joints and thawed.
1 cup of plain all purpose flour
1 table spoon of cayenne pepper (extra hot!)
a dash of salt and pepper
4-3 centimeters of vegetable oil
3 big slugs of white vinegar.
125g of butter
The day before:
Mix your dry ingredient: flour, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Check that your wings are dry, not soggy. Use a paper towel if you have to.*
Then coat the wings with the dry mix.
Leave them sitting over night.**
Fill the sauce pan with 3-4cm of vegetable oil and put on low heat. Your chicken should be able to completely submerge. The less chicken in there the better so split it up into two batches.
When the oil starts dancing around, put the chicken it. If it doesn’t start bubbling the oil is not hot enough.
Achieving the perfect crust is hard. Matt says he gets better every single time, and this time was the absolute best he’s ever had it.
Leave them in for about 10 minutes while you make the buffalo sauce.
The sauce is made to taste. We like it hot. Some may like it more buttery, but don’t be scared to taste as you go. You may get a big kick in the face but isn’t that what buffalo sauce is all about?
Melt your 125g of butter. If the butter goes brown, get it out of town. You need it to be yellow. Pour in a fair bit of tabasco sauce. Matt used half the small bottle. Then add in 3-4 table spoons of white vinegar. Mix, then taste. Yum!
He said vinegar is the unsung hero of the dish so don’t be afraid to favor it.
Once your wings look golden brown take them out and transfer into a drainer. You want to get them as dry as possible before they go into the sauce.
Cut open one wing just to make sure it’s cooked through. It is? Perfect! Then you’ll want to keep the sauce tilted as you add the wings in one by one. Then gently swirl them around in a circular motion. Matt said to treat each wing as if it were one of your children; you really want them all to get a fair chance at being dunked.
Once they’ve all had a turn, transfer them into your prettiest serving dish and your done!
*Jack suggested to use a blow dryer, but we rolled our eyes and ignored him.
**I asked why the chicken wings seemed wet even though they were put in a dry mix. Matt said Osmotically, and I said “what’s that?”. It means that moisture will always move from a wet place to a dry place. Science!