Buffalo Pork “Wings”
Serves 10 to 12
In 2013, I was commissioned to serve a dish at the Georgia Dome during a Falcons game. While other chefs brought froufrou food to the football stadium, I brought something absurd: the pork wing. Chicken wings are my favorite junk food, and I figured they’d be even better with pork, especially during a football game. Here we have braised pork belly cut into chunks the size of hot wings, fried, and slathered in wing sauce. They’re ludicrous and delicious at the same time. The fans seemed to like them. As I understand it, I hold the record for highest sales among guest chefs at the Georgia Dome. I’m also the only guest chef who worked his own station.
Canola oil for frying
2-pound slab Braised Pork Belly (recipe follows)
5 ounces Frank’s RedHot sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for serving
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F.
Trim the top layer of fat off the pork belly down to the first layer of meat. Cut lengthwise (the way you would slice bacon) into 1-inch-thick slices. Crosswise, cut the rest of the pork belly to make pieces about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick.
In a saucepan, heat the hot sauce over medium heat just until bubbling around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter cubes one at a time until all are melted.
Fry the pork until crispy, about 5 minutes. Shake the fryer basket to remove excess oil. Drop the pork into the buttery hot sauce and toss to coat. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Braised Pork Belly
Makes: About 2 pounds
1 (2-pound) center-cut slab raw pork belly
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 300°F.
Rub both sides of the pork belly with the salt and lay flat, fat side up, in a baking dish that is just a little larger than the slab. Add the vinegar; it should come about halfway up the side of the meat. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven and let rest, wrapped in the foil, until the pork cools to room temperature. Remove from the pan, wrap in parchment and then foil, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Good to Know
The braised pork belly can be frozen for up 2 weeks. Thaw completely before using. This braising technique makes a great starting point for many dishes.