Cooking From My Books: Sullivan’s Chicken Wings

This recipe is from A Taste of Sin, the very first novella I ever wrote! It ended up in the anthology, A Taste of Honey, which featured three out of the four Donovan brothers. This story featured Nick Donovan, the youngest of the brood.
When the Donovan brothers hit Sullivan’s Bar after a long day, they like nothing more than to order a big pile of wings, paired with icy cold beer. Unlike many Buffalo wing recipes which call for heavier breading, this method focuses on creating a crispy skin and juicy meat. Enjoy!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1-2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
18 chicken wings (about 3 pounds), wingtips removed and remaining wings separated into 2 parts at the joint
4 stalks celery, cut into thin sticks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
1 recipe Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe follows)


1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the hot sauces, brown sugar, and vinegar until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While the oil heats, mix together the cayenne, black pepper, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Dry the chicken with paper towels and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the wings and toss with a rubber spatula until evenly coated. Fry half the chicken wings until golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fried chicken wings to the baking sheet. Keep this first batch warm in the oven while frying the remaining wings.

3. Pour the sauce mixture in a large bowl, add the chicken wings, and toss until the wings are uniformly coated. Serve immediately with carrot and celery sticks and Blue Cheese Dressing on the side.

Blue Cheese Dressing
Makes About 1 1/2 Cups

5 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about 1 cup)
6 tablespoons buttermilk
6 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and ground black pepper

Mash the blue cheese and buttermilk in a small bowl with a fork until the mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds. Stir in the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and garlic powder. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste. (The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)

  • April 28, 2016

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