Who doesn’t love chicken wings? We do, but don’t like the mess and calories that go along with deep frying them. So I was happy to try this recipe from Mark Bittman, which cooks the wings either under a broiler or on the grill (I used the broiler). Toss the wings in a little oil, broil for 10-15 minutes on each side, toss with hot sauce and then return to the broiler or grill to make them brown and crispy.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Frank’s Red Hot sauce is additive free. Make sure your butter contains only cream. I used white vinegar.

Mark Bittman's Minimalist Buffalo Chicken Wings


3 pounds (1.36 kg) of chicken wings

Neutral oil (like canola)

Salt & pepper

1/3 cup (75 ml) relatively mild hot sauce, like Frank’s Red Hot

4 tablespoons (60 ml) melted butter

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sherry vinegar or white vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic

Blue cheese dressing and celery sticks for serving (optional)


Pat the wings dry very well with paper towels (this will help them crisp) and, if the wings are whole, cut them into 3 sections, saving the wing tips for stock. Toss the wings with a little neutral oil to keep them from sticking, salt them lightly, and spread them on a baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between each wing.

Heat the broiler with a rack 4 to 6 inches from the flame. (Alternately, heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be moderately hot and the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Leave one side of the grill cooler for indirect cooking.)

Broil in the oven on a sheet pan until the wings are evenly well-browned and crisp, flipping them midway through. This should take 20 to 25 minutes overall, but will depend on the strength of your broiler, so peek often! (If using the grill, put the wings on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook, checking and turning once or twice, until most of the fat has been rendered and the wings are evenly well-browned and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.)

While the wings cook, in a large bowl, combine the hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much).

When the wings are browned and crisp, add them to the bowl with the sauce, and toss to coat. Return the wings to the pan, leaving excess sauce in the bowl, and broil for a few minutes until sizzling and nicely browned on both sides, flipping once. (Or put the wings on the hot part of the grill and cook, uncovered, turning as necessary.)

Serve hot with the extra sauce on the side or, for extra spicy, saucy wings, toss back in the sauce before serving. Blue cheese dressing and celery sticks on the side are a good idea. Serves 4-6.

From Mark Bittman