wings (known simply as wings or "chicken wings" in much of the Northeastern United States, especially in areas around Buffalo, NY, where they are almost never referred to
as Buffalo Wings by locals), are unbreaded chicken wing sections (called flats and drums), deep fried, and coated in a cayenne pepper-based sauce with other seasonings.
Although many variations on this sauce exist, the original sauce is composed of only five ingredients: cayenne pepper sauce, white vinegar, butter, salt, and garlic.
When using a prepared hot sauce of vinegar and cayenne pepper, the recipe is simply a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter.
Buffalo wings are named after the city of Buffalo, New York where they originated, and the appellation "buffalo" is now commonly
applied to foodstuffs other than wings that are seasoned with the sauce or close
variations on it.
Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar on Main Street, near the corner of North Street, Buffalo, on October 3, 1964. Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of the Anchor Bar with
her husband Frank, had the idea of deep frying chicken wings and tossing them in hot sauce for her son Dominic and his friends.
One evening, on a spur of the moment, Teressa presented her son with a deep-fried and sauced creation, and they were an
instant hit. At the time the recipe was created, chicken wings were typically thrown away or reserved for making stock.
In Buffalo, the best-known places for authentic wings are the Anchor Bar and at
Duff's, just outside the city limit, on Sheridan Drive in Amherst. Wings can also be
found in most pizza restaurants and corner taverns throughout the region. The Anchor
Bar serves more than 36,000 pounds of wings per month. Although they are known as
"Buffalo wings" in most of America, they are simply called "chicken wings" or "wings" in
the Buffalo area and in much of the northeast.
Wings have gained such popularity and such a following that there are now even documented
"best practice" eating techniques for wings. The legendary small bone twist and smash
technique are used by many to make wing eating a more manageable and pleasant experience.
While true original Buffalo-style wings are unbreaded, a minority of restaurants and
taverns that serve wings use breaded wings. In properly prepared breaded wings, the
breading soaks up the hot sauce, making the flavor more even and the wings slightly less
messy to eat. Improperly prepared breaded wings, however, taste like regular fried
chicken with sauce drizzled over them, rather than "proper" wings.
In addition, some restaurants including
Chili's and Pizzeria Uno include on their
menus a dish called "boneless wings."
However, these are usually made of chicken
breast meat and are not considered to be
true wings. They are called wings because
they are tossed in wing sauce like true
wings, although without the sauce they bear
more resemblance to chicken strips or
Some wing restaurants offer wings spiced
with other styles of hot spices, such as
Cajun or Caribbean-style jerk spices. Lemon
garlic or "Greek" wings are a non-spicy
variant also offered by some restaurants. A
variation local to Rochester, New York is
sweet and spicy, as opposed to the usual hot
and vinegary taste of classic Buffalo-style
wings. Some restaurants, such as the Outback
Steakhouse, bread their wings and then toss
them in a mixture of seasonings, variation
from hot, medium, and mild, rather than a