Buffalo wing

Buffalo Wings
Homemade buffalo wings.jpg
A bowl of hot Buffalo wings
Alternative name(s)
  • Buffalo wings
  • Hot wings
  • Chicken wings
  • Wings
Place of origin United States
Region or state Buffalo, New York
Creator(s) Teressa and Frank Bellissimo
Dish details
Course served
  • Appetizer
  • Main course
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s)
  • Chicken
  • Cayenne pepper hot sauce
  • Melted butter
  • Classic style: Unbreaded and deep fried
  • Pan fried
  • Baked
  • Breaded
  • Grilled
  • Smoked
  • Boneless

A Buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken wing section (drumette or flat) that is traditionally fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter.[1] Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

Buffalo wings were created in Buffalo, New York. The residents of Buffalo generally refer to them as "wings" or "chicken wings" rather than "Buffalo wings."[2]



Cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the basis of the sauce. Buffalo wing sauce can be made with a variable amount of heat/spiciness, with the names of these sauces generally corresponding to the level of heat, such as mild, medium, or hot. Typically, the wings are deep-fried (although they are sometimes grilled or baked). The wings are usually fried in oil until they reach close to a golden brown color. They are then drained where they can either be placed in a bowl with sauce or even seasoned with salt and pepper. Following this, one covers the bowl tightly and shakes to coat the wings. As an alternative to waiting to coat the wings until after they are cooked, one can also put seasoning over the wings in a sealed bag and shake them until they are coated evenly. Afterwards, the wings are arranged on a baking sheet and baked until they are cooked thoroughly. Wings can then be served dry with sauce on the side.


There are four different legends about how Buffalo wings came to be.[3][4]

  • The first story is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her hungry guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.[3][4][5][6][7][8]
    A cook preparing Buffalo wings
  • A second version, as told by Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa's son) to The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980, stated: "It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again." He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.[3][4]
  • The third version of the origin involved a mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.[3][4]
  • The fourth version has nothing to do with the Bellissimos or the Anchor Bar. Calvin Trillin stated in his 1980 New Yorker article that a man named John Young also claimed credit for serving chicken wings in a special "mambo sauce". Chicken wings in mambo sauce became the specialty at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. Young had registered the name of his restaurant, John Young's Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.[3][4][9]

Buffalo wings are used in competitive eating events, such as Philadelphia's Wing Bowl and at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

Buffalo wings on television

The first mention of Buffalo wings on national television may have been on NBC's Today show in the 1980s. Teressa Bellissimo cooked a batch before the camera, and mentioned that she was using a certain brand of hot sauce by name.[citation needed] Bryant Gumbel commented that the chicken wings looked like "drummies". Increasingly, since the 1970s, restaurants were promoting an entree of the thicker first joint of the wing, calling them "chickies" or "drummies", to people who wanted the flavor of traditional "southern fried chicken" in about ten minutes, versus the twenty minutes or more needed to properly fry the thicker breast, thigh, or drumstick portions of a chicken. The dish radically gained prominence nationally after the Buffalo Bills' four consecutive appearances in the Super Bowl from 1990-1993 focused considerable media attention to the area for an extended period of time, giving Buffalo cuisine significant nationwide exposure. Clips showing cooks preparing the dish continues to be featured on nationally televised sporting events involving the Buffalo Bills and to a lesser extent the Buffalo Sabres.

The Travel Channel show Food Wars held a competition between Anchor Bar and local Buffalo rival Duff's Famous Wings. Duff's narrowly won, with Duff's wings considered to be spicier, while Anchor Bar's was meatier and fried more well-done.[10]

In "Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri", Buffalo vs. Chicago, the buffalo team made Buffalo Wings.


The appellation "Buffalo" is also now commonly applied to foods other than wings, including chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, shrimp and pizza that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or variations of it.

The flavor of Buffalo wings is replicated by a number of dishes. A common variation on the "buffalo" sauce flavor is found in potato chips produced by a number of different companies. Many of these "Buffalo Chips" also incorporate a simulated blue cheese flavoring to simulate the complete buffalo wing experience.

The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota serves a more esoteric take on buffalo-flavored food products with their "Buffalo Dog" available at concession stands inside the arena. The hot dog is topped with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and cole slaw in a unique combination of North Carolina-style slaw dogs and buffalo wings — neither dish is indigenous to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and despite buffalo wings' ubiquity, slaw dogs are uncommon in the Twin Cities.


  1. ^ Horwitz, Jeremy (January 1, 2008). "Chicken Wings, or, Why People Know About Buffalo". Buffalo Chow.com. http://www.buffalochow.com/2008/01/chicken_wings_or_why_people_kn.html. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Kinsman, Kat (July 27, 2007). "Buffalo Wings". Slashfood. AOL Food. http://www.slashfood.com/2007/07/27/buffalo-wings/8. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Harmon, John E.. "On the Wings of a Buffalo or "Mother Teressa's Wings"". Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States. http://www.geography.ccsu.edu/harmonj/atlas/buffwing.htm. Retrieved January 20, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Trillin, Calvin (August 25, 1980). "An Attempt To Compile A Short History Of The Buffalo Chicken Wing". The New Yorker Magazine. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1980/08/25/1980_08_25_082_TNY_CARDS_000331411?currentPage=1. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Frank's Red Hot". Frenchfoodservice.com. http://www.frenchsfoodservice.com/recipe/foodservice/prod_franks.jsp?fc=1. Retrieved November 28, 2006. [dead link]
  6. ^ "AnchorBar - Origins of the original Buffalo Chicken Wing". AnchorBar.com. http://www.anchorbar.com/original.php. Retrieved January 6, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Frank's Red Hot History and Facts". Frank's Red Hot.com. http://www.franksredhot.com/recipe/franks/history_facts.jsp. Retrieved January 6, 2008. 
  8. ^ Peggy Trowbridge Filippone. "Buffalo Wings History - The origins of Buffalo Chicken Wings". About.com. http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/buffwinghistory.htm. Retrieved January 20, 2008. 
  9. ^ "James Beard Foundation". THE 2003 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION COCA-COLA AMERICA’S CLASSICS AWARDS. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080103154411/http://www.jamesbeard.org/about/press/newsdetails.php?news_id=24. Retrieved January 20, 2008. 
  10. ^ Duff's wins war of wings on food show

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • buffalo wing — noun crisp spicy chicken wings • Hypernyms: ↑dish * * * noun Etymology: from Buffalo, N.Y. : a deep fried chicken wing coated with a spicy sauce and usually served with a blue cheese dressing * * * Usually, buffalo wings. a deep fried chicken… …   Useful english dictionary

  • buffalo wing — buf′falo wing n. coo Usu., buffalo wings. a deep fried chicken wing served in a spicy sauce and usu. with celery and blue cheese • Etymology: 1980–85, amer.; after a restaurant in Buffalo which popularized the dish …   From formal English to slang

  • buffalo wing — Usually, buffalo wings. a deep fried chicken wing served in a spicy sauce and usually with celery and blue cheese. [1980 85; Amer.; after a restaurant in BUFFALO, which popularized the dish] * * * …   Universalium

  • buffalo wing — noun Etymology: Buffalo, N.Y. Date: 1984 a deep fried chicken wing coated with a spicy sauce and usually served with a blue cheese dressing …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • buffalo wing — noun A snack made of a cooked chicken wing with spicy sauce …   Wiktionary

  • National Buffalo Wing Festival — is a weekend festival held at Coca Cola Field in downtown Buffalo, New York celebrating the Buffalo style chicken wing. The festival is held on Labor Day weekend and culminates with the IFOCE sanctioned Buffalo Wing eating contest. The first… …   Wikipedia

  • National Buffalo Wing Festival — L enceinte du festival est le Coca Cola Field, le terrain de baseball des Bisons de Buffalo. Le National Buffalo Wing Festival est un festival américain consacré aux Buffalo wings, une spécialité culinaire à base de poulet. L évènement annu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Buffalo City Hall — U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Buffalo wings — Infobox Prepared Food name = Buffalo wings caption = A bowl of home made buffalo wings alternate name = Buffalo wings Chicken wings Hot wings Wings country = United States region = Buffalo, New York creator = Frank and Teressa Bellisimo course =… …   Wikipedia

  • Buffalo, New York — City of Buffalo   City   …   Wikipedia

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