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October 14, 2013

BBQ My Way: Arguments aside, there's just one authentic recipe for wings

Certain foods and dishes bring out the passion in people - especially in the barbecue genre. Different regions have specialties and their own way of doing things. Whether it be about the wood, the rub or the sauce, full-blown arguments can erupt over which is best if you are talking people who are passionate about their 'que.

Another dish that creates hard-headed passion is Buffalo chicken wings.

This dish was created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y. The story goes that the owner of the bar wanted to fix a late-night snack for her son and his friends, so she used what she had on hand. Back then chicken wings were scraps, so she decided to deep fry them and create a sauce using hot sauce, butter and vinegar. She used blue cheese dressing for dip, and voila, Buffalo wings.

Many recipes out there claim to be the original. But, if anything else is added, it is not the original sauce. Even the Anchor Bar has created many varieties and flavors.

If you want a taste of the original, give this simple recipe a try.

The basics

For this recipe, I used thighs instead of wings. Thighs were $1.19 per pound, while wings were $1.99 per pound. Also, I like the flavor of thighs, and they have more meat for less money. I used this recipe to make a family pack - or about 10 - chicken thighs.

I used indirect heat, which means only half the grill has coals under it. If you are using a gas grill, preheat with all flames, then turn off half of them.

For coals, I used a mixture of standard briquettes and lump wood charcoal.

Getting started

Brush both sides of each thigh with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. For more flavor, use your favorite rub. I used a rub with a paprika and brown sugar base that included granulated garlic, salt, onion powder and black freshly cracked pepper. Go online and find a basic rub recipe. (I keep a batch on hand in our kitchen.)

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