Super Bowl Recipe: Ryan’s Wing Sauce

When I was in college, there was a restraunt named Ryan’s Tavern in town (not to be confused with the el-cheapo Ryan’s steakhouse chain). They had an all-you-can-eat Wing Night on Wednesdays, and you usually had to wait at least 45 minutes to get a table. It was worth it; Ryan’s had an incredible wing sauce that would open up the sinuses of people in the next state. One night, just as my roomate and I sat down, a couple of rednecks the next table over got their first platter of wings, and one of them leaned over to inhale the aromatic steam.

“Aw hell,” he said. “This is liable to be rough.”

His buddy replied, “Yep. Good thing I put a roll of toilet paper in the freezer before we come out here.”

Anyway, the folks who owned Ryan’s eventually retired and sold the place off. I think it’s a Mexican joint now, but one of the guys who used to work in the kitchen posted the recipe for their wing sauce on an Auburn football board a while back. For your Super Bowl Party sinus-clearing and toilet-paper-freezing enjoyment, here it is:

The sauce for Ryan’s (and you can cut this down to a more managable portion) was:

2 gallons Durkee Red Hot sauce (now sold as Frank’s Red Hot)

1 lb margarine (don’t use butter)

2 cups sugar

black & white pepper to taste (we’d use a couple of tablespoons of each)

Make sure you simmer the sauce for at least 2 or 3 hours before putting the wings in it. We’d bake the chicken juice out of the wings, drain them, then fry them. After that, they’d go into the heated wing sauce. The longer they soaked, the better they were.

Our ‘death sauce’ included finely diced fresh jalapenos (don’t use the pickled ones) and red pepper flakes. It was also made a day in advance to let the ‘heat’ out of the jalapenos and pepper flakes.


7 Responses to “Super Bowl Recipe: Ryan’s Wing Sauce”

  1. OCSteve Says:

    Trying to find the

  2. Captain Ned Says:

    There ain’t no way that a sauce with margarine (or butter) in it qualifies as hot. I worked at a wing joint 20 years ago; our sauces were:

    Hurt-Me (our base sauce):
    4 gallons Durkee (Franks) Red Hot
    1 gallon lemon juice

    Mix and replace in gallon jugs

    Medium & mild consisted of Hurt-Me diluted by ever-increasing amounts of butter (not margarine).

    Hurt Me Bad was a whole ‘nother level.

    Pour 1 pint corn oil into a non-stick frying pan and add 4 ounces red pepper flakes. Place frying pan on electric hot plate turned down to minimum possible setting & seal pan with tin foil. Close up the shop at 2AM, leaving the hot plate plugged in. Come back at 2PM and hope the hot plate is not on fire. Strain the spent flakes out of the oil; reserving the oil.

    In an empty gallon jug assemble:

    3/4 gallon Hurt Me
    the red pepper oil
    1 12-oz bottle of tabasco
    4 oz chili powder
    4 oz cayenne pepper

    Shake your booty

    Serve on hot wings

  3. Will Collier Says:

    Ah, I knew this was going to bring out the “Boy, if you don’t put in Guatemalan Insanity Peppers injected with distilled capsaicin, it ain’t HOT” crowd…

  4. Pursuit Says:

    Damn, Will. If I didn’t know any better I’d say a man was likely to blow up real good after consumin’ a sauce like that! Yup, blow up real good!

  5. Veeshir Says:

    Decent recipe, but instead of sugar, use honey.
    Don’t add too much honey as then you can never make it hot again, but that’s close to the recipes they were using in many Buffalo-area wing joints 21 years ago. Back when they were 10 cents a piece and they delivered at 4:30 am after last call.

    You adjust heat with amount of sauce.

    Although I broil the wings as I don’t like having my house smell like a pizzeria. About 15-20 minutes a side so it takes longer than deep-greasing them, but it works just as well.

  6. surf-actant Says:

    Oh man, Wing Night @ Ryan’s!!. Ryan’s on a Wednesday night, 10-15 people in your group, pitcher after pitcher and wings $.10/apiece. Somehow, I still managed to drop $25, on average. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane Will, and thanks even more for the recipe…I will put it to very good use.


  7. thatismytruck Says:

    That is the closest I’ve seen to the “REAL” Buffalo wings from Buffalo, NY!! When I was in college in Niagara Falls, NY, I would travel over to Buffalo to see a buddy at Buff State. He took me out for wings often. (Back in 1982 these buffalo wings were new to me) He and I went to “the” place and somehow ended up with the recipe. I still make them to this day. I’ve never used sugar as my recipe never called for it (or my beer memory left it off the recipe) I can see how that would make the sauce cling better to the wings. Since my wife is diabetic, I probably won’t try it now either. Thanks for triggering some nice memories for me.

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