June 12, 2019
Jeff Williams Editor, Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
LITTLE ROCK — Is anything more popular at a tailgate or holiday party than chicken wings?
Maybe hamburgers and nachos have claim to the crown, too, but chicken wings are ubiquitous, especially since 1964.
Grilling or frying chicken wings in the South was popular long before the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, starting dousing them with hot sauce. That method, however, became such a sensation that international restaurant chains are based on the recipe.
We’ve taken the Buffalo chicken wing craze and crossed it with fried catfish, another Southern staple, and thrown in a little Cajun spice for good measure.
This recipe works with any fish that holds up to frying; crappie and walleye, for instance. Many wing sauces and Cajun spice mixes are readily available, or whip up homemade versions. Canola oil works well for frying.
2 pounds catfish filets
1 cup Buffalo chicken wing sauce
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup water
2 cups cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
Cajun seasoning to taste
Rinse filets and cut them into manageable pieces. Mix favorite wing sauce, buttermilk and water in 1-gallon resealable bag. Add catfish and refrigerate overnight; turn bag a couple of times to thoroughly coat pieces.
Heat appropriate amount of vegetable oil in fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees.
Add cornmeal, flour and favorite Cajun seasoning to 1-gallon resealable bag. Coat catfish pieces one at a time and add to hot oil. Fry about 3 minutes until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Instead of serving with tartar sauce, try a mixture of wing sauce and ranch dressing.