Super Crispy Chicken Wings

With the Super Bowl* right around the corner, I've got finger foods on my mind. As far as I'm concerned, there's no better snack for watching a football game than chicken wings. There's a whole national restaurant chain built around this idea, so I've got some company. A couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for crispy wings that turned out to be pretty awesome. You start with the wings, of course, about 8 or 10 of them unless you expect company, then multiply the recipe as you see fit. I can easily eat half a dozen of these babies myself, so keep gluttony in mind when planning. I like to start by looking over my wings and making sure all the little feathers are gone. Take some kitchen shears and cut off the wingtips. You can throw them away, or if you were raised during the Great Depression you can boil them up with some onion and celery to make a small batch of stock. If you like, you can cut the remaining wings in half at the joint, but I don't bother, they pull apart nice and easy after cooking and cutting them can be a chore. Once prepped, you dredge your wings in a mixture of baking powder and salt. For a basic recipe, use 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can get creative at this point and use seasoned salt or add some spices of your choosing. I used Cajun seasoned salt in mine, but let your taste buds be your guide. One important note. Some baking powder is made with sodium aluminum sulfate, and you want to avoid that at all costs as it give the wings a bitter flavor. We use the Rumford brand which is free of aluminum salts, so no worries. Mix your baking powder and seasonings in a bowl, then dredge your wings to give them a thin coating of the powder. Place the wings on a baking rack on a cookie sheet (cover your sheet with foil for easy clean-up) so the hot air will circulate around the meat and pop them into a 250 degree oven for about 30 minutes, then crank the heat up to 425 and cook for another 40 to 50 minutes. In phase one, the low temps combined with the baking powder dry out the skin and start the fat rendering. In phase two, the high temps crisp up the skin, seal in the juices and cook the meat to tender perfection. You will want to have a vent fan running during the high heat stage as the fat dripping onto the cookie sheet can generate a surprising amount of smoke, enough to set off a smoke alarm if you aren't venting (trust me on this). Once the wings come out and cool a bit, you can eat them as they are (that's my preference) or toss them in some barbecue or hot sauce of your choosing. I've tried several different ways of cooking wings over the years (grilled, deep fried, pan fried, pan baked, etc.) but this is now my favorite method and I'm going to stick with it until something better comes along. Enjoy.

*Yeah, that's right, NFL, I said Super Bowl, not the Big Game or some other such nonsense. You don't own language, you insufferable pricks.

13 thoughts on “Super Crispy Chicken Wings”

  1. Hmm, I want to try this in my new air fryer.

    I'm mostly looking for ways to learn how to use it besides heating cheese sticks. I'd like to make it a more useful tool around the kitchen.

    1. Hmm, I want to try this in my new air fryer.

      I had that same thought. Drumsticks were on a good sale this week, so I'm planning to do essentially this recipe with those instead of wings, and in the air fryer.

      1. Tried this with drumsticks (no wings on hand) and can report that, although the skin never fully ‘crisped’, it did seal nicely and the meat was juicy and tender. My wife is not a big fan in general, and dried out is typically her biggest complaint with any poultry, but she liked these.

        Tossed the wings in this:

        Buffalo Sauce

        * 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce (I used Crystal)
        * 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
        * 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
        * 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
        * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
        * 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
        * salt to taste

        Combine the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt in a pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring with a whisk. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat, stir with the whisk, and set aside for use

      1. I’ve heard Crystal is a bit milder, or something like Cholula? I didn’t want them to be hot, so I just adjusted the ratios a bit (from equal parts, to half as much Red Hot & Worcestershire) and it turned out good but definitely could have been a bit warmer. That could be an option, but honestly I think they would have been great sauceless.

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