Buffalo wings have no flaws. I'll admit that. They are the perfect football snack -- greasy, spicy, and a fantastic vessel for ranch dressing (unlike those limp celery sticks that wings are forced to share plate real estate with). And every wing gives you that little unnecessary-but-still-welcome nudge to drink another beer.
But, dammit, this is America, and if we settled every time we thought something was "good enough" we never would have put a man on the moon, or created the Domino's 30-minute guarantee, or invented those little Sriracha keychains so you can hot sauce your burrito while driving.
My point is, sometimes you just have to take shit up a notch. Sometimes, you have to crank that gnarliness dial all the way up to 11, ride the lightning, and get weird with it and all that good stuff. Sometimes, you have to wrap all your chicken wings in bacon and then cover them in whiskey sauce. Do it for football. Do it for America. Do it for yourself, man.
Wrapping wings in bacon is more craft than science. There's no perfect way to do it, but as long as you can get some smoked pork strips to stick to chicken while it's cooking, you've done your duty. Toothpicks are your friend here. You want to pin the end of a slice of bacon to the very bottom of a wing with a toothpick, then wrap the bacon tightly in a spiral up the wing, and pin the other end to the top. It's a simple process. (Albeit, much less simple if you're doing it a few beers in. Like me. Oops.)
When it comes to cooking the chicken, roasting the wings is for sure the way to go here. Deep-frying them can cook the bacon too fast and make it taste shitty and oxidized. Pan-frying them can leave everything sitting in a puddle of grease, which isn't the worst problem, but it's not ideal. Roasting them on a rack lets all the bacon fat render and melt through the chicken while dripping onto the sheet tray and not absorbing any excess.
As for the sauce, most whiskey-glazed things are bullshit marketing gimmicks from sit-down chain restaurants designed to trick you into spending $14.95 for microwaved ribs. This is not that. The ginger, shallots, and soy add a resounding savory, aromatic quality to it, the maple brings that sticky greatness, the vinegar hits you with the acid, and then the whiskey is the funky bass line running through all of it. This is good. Make it. And then maybe make a second batch to share.
Total Time: 1.5 hours Active Time: 30 mins
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