Fried Buffalo Turkey Wings

Deep fried turkey wings with buffalo style spicy sauce
Buffalo style turkey wings

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 8 wings

What could be more American than chicken wings? How about turkey wings? The native bird is bigger and meatier, making each wing a substantial snack. The moist, flavorful meat takes well to frying, forming a crispy skin without any need for batter and happily sops up the Buffalo-style sauce. Served with blue cheese or ranch dressing dipping sauce, Buffalo turkey wings are a delicious appetizer or game day snack.

The only downside to turkey wings is that they can be a little difficult to track down. You'll fall in love during the holidays only to find them chronically absent from the grocery store a few months later. To find an off-season source, talk to your butcher or the meat counter at the supermarket. Turkey breasts sometimes appear year-round and the wings might be available if you ask. Or try delis and kosher meat markets, which tend to roast turkeys year-round for soup and sandwiches.

To make this recipe even less indulgent, bake the wings instead of deep-frying. Try 30 minutes at 375 F followed by 20 to 30 minutes at 425 F for crispy skin. Remove when the internal temperature hits 165 F and toss them in the Buffalo sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 whole turkey wings (about 3 pounds depending on the size of the birds)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons hot sauce

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • For serving: crudités, blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Add oil to a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed large pot. You'll want at least 3 inches of oil in a pot, but don't fill over 1/2 full. Preheat to 325 F.

  2. Rinse the turkey wings in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, divide the wings at the joint between the ‘drumette’ and the ‘wingette’ (also called the ‘flap').

  3. Once the oil is hot, fry the wing pieces for about 12 minutes or until golden with an internal temperature of 165 F.

  4. While the wings are frying, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, remove from heat. Add the hot sauce and combine well with the butter.

  5. When properly cooked, remove the wings with a slotted spoon or tongs and place them in a large shallow bowl. Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt as necessary.

  6. Serve immediately with crudités and sauce of choice.

Tips

  • Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to fry in two batches. Don't overcrowd the pot, since this will lower the oil temperature and result in greasy wings.
  • Since timing depends on the size of the wings and their temperature at the time of frying, pay attention to your wings; they may be done quicker or take a bit longer.