Crispy Chicken Wings with Tsaketa Hot Sauce

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 45 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Cook: 50 min
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings


  • 16 chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6 to 8 cups canola oil, for deep frying
  • Tsaketa Hot Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5 red habanero chiles, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
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Break each wing down into its 3 pieces and discard the wing tips (keep only the drumette and wing). Place the wings in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the salt and pour in 2 cups of the buttermilk, completely submerging the chicken. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, dried mustard, onion powder, oregano, black pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large resealable bag and shake to mix well.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess. Combine the eggs with the remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a bowl. Dip each chicken wing into the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture. Refrigerate the wings 30 minutes.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot.

Fry the wings a few at a time (be careful not to crowd the pot or the temperature of the oil will fall too quickly) until deep golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with the Tsaketa Hot Sauce.
Cook's Note: For a less intense sauce, the chiles may also be deseeded.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium-low heat. Cook the onions, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chiles and garlic and cook until the chiles start to soften, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, maple syrup, salt, allspice and ginger, if using, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes break down, 15 to 20 minutes, and then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Chill the sauce until completely cool. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.



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