As you know, I love wings. I like lots of different styles and sauces. I respect different methods of preparation for wings from smoking to stir fry, to deep frying and grilling. But one method I regularly scorned was baking wings. I hated baked wings because they were never crispy. Crispy wings are very important. When people wrote Buffalo wing recipes and listed baking them, I would lose my @#$. Partly because a Buffalo wing has very specific criteria, but mainly because baking doesn't make for crispy skin.
Or so I thought.
But I've come to realize that under the right conditions, you can have a very-close-to-deep-fried crispy baked wing.
First thing - get some fresh wings. Do not get frozen. Go to your butcher, go to your poultry dealer, go to where ever you can and get fresh, not frozen wings.
Next step, toss them in some flour. Maybe some flour and spices. Maybe even corn starch. Some say baking powder. Do it.
Then take those wings (knocking off excess powder) and put them on parchment paper. Parchment paper is key here. In the past I used tin foil and the chicken sticks and never cooked right. Parchment paper is magic, magic I say. And I know there are some out there who are like, what about wax paper? No. Parchment. Wax and parchment are not the same. Parchment will not burn in the oven, the chicken will not stick to it, and it will help in the crisping process.
Then put it in the fridge. At least 30 minutes. I do it for an hour. Or more. Then when your ready, pre-heat the oven for 450 or higher. Hot.
See those wings in the oven? Baking (middle shelf). High heat, fresh, dusted, parchment. This is the way.
Here is the wings after being flipped after say 15-20 minutes. Ya, baking takes a long time. But you can see how the skin is browning. The photo makes the wings a little pink, but they didn't look that pink. Weird. Keep baking for another 15-20 minutes or until they are crispy.
Here's a finished drummette. I took a bite. You can see the layers of crispy skin. Yes, that chicken is baked.
While the wings were baking I made up some Buffalo-style sauce. For some reason I put it in the bowl first. It's sitting on the burner that gets hot when the oven is on (but the burner is off). I don't like my sauce cold, but the Frank's sits in the fridge. Heat it up.
Then toss it up. Mix mix mix. Flip flip flip. Sauce sauce sauce. Until completely coated.
And there, baked Hot wings. Can you tell that they weren't deep fried? No, no you can't.
Look - each one of those wings looks nearly perfect. And they were crispy, and tasty and pretty darn good. I still prefer deep fried, but this is as close as you are going to get.
- Fresh chicken
- Dust in flour/corn starch/baking soda (one or all)
- Place on parchment paper
- Air chill in fridge for minimum 30 minutes.
- Cook in oven at 450 degrees. Flip once after 15-20 minutes. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Or until skin is crisp.
- Toss in sauce, enjoy.