Cosmic Wings Traditional Wings with Cheetos Sauce
By Todd Wilbur
At Cosmic Wings, Applebee’s second attempt at a virtual chicken wing chain, they have a code name for the Cheetos crumbs that coat their signature wings: Cheedle. The delivery-only wing chain debuted in February 2021 and has several other more traditional sauce flavors such as classic Buffalo, honey mustard, and spicy barbecue, but it’s the sauce made with Cheetos that puts the cosmic in the wings.
The concept is simple and the hack is straightforward once you pick your flavor or Cheetos to crush. Are you going with the more mellow regular cheese flavor Cheetos, or the kicked up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Pick your flavor and crush up some “Cheedle” in a food processor. If you don’t have one of those you can put the Cheetos in a storage bag and whack on ‘em with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin.
Fry some wings, baste them with a buttery sauce, and toss them in the Cheedle of your choice. And if Flamin’ Hot isn’t hot enough for you, you could use Cheetos XXX Hot Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that are twice as hot as Flamin’ Hot, and you’d have kicked-up version that isn’t offered on the menu.
This recipe is available in
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 6 ounces (4 cups) Cheetos Crunchy, regular or Flamin' Hot
- 20 chicken wings
- Do This
Instructions1. Make clarified butter by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, then scoop the foam off the top of the butter and toss it. Slowly pour the clarified butter out of the pan and into a measuring cup. Be careful not to include the milky water at the bottom of the pan. Keep pouring the butter off the top until you have 6 tablespoons of clarified butter.
2. Combine the clarified butter with the vegetable oil and refrigerate it for 5 minutes or until the baste begins to thicken, then remove the bowl from the refrigerator and set it aside. At room temperature the buttery sauce will thicken so that the Cheetos crumbs will stick to the wings.
3. While the baste is chilling, preheat the oil in a large saucepan, Dutch oven, or deep fryer to 300 degrees F.
4. Use a food processor to chop the Cheetos of your choice into a semi-course powder. If you don’t have a food processor you can put the Cheetos into a thick storage bag and smash them with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin until pulverized. Pour the Cheetos crumbs into a large bowl.
5. Blot wings dry, then fry them in batches for 12 to 16 minutes or until they’re crispy on the outside. Drain the wings on a rack or on paper towels for 1 minute, then add them to a bowl and spoon some of the baste over them. Toss the wings, completely coating them with baste, then toss them in the Cheetos crumbs until well coated. Serve hot with celery on the side, and with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Makes 20 wings.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.