Don’t let this healthier way of making delicious Crispy Chicken Wings in the oven fool you. They are so easy to prepare without the hassle of deep-frying, and you won’t believe the crunch. It’s wings time!
There’s something comforting about a platter of crispy chicken wings. Maybe it’s the crunchy exterior, the juicy meat, the dipping sauce, or that it usually goes with beer, football, or a party of some sort.
Chicken wing season seems to roll through football, the holidays, and into carnival time (a container full is perfect for the long march along the parade route, right?). A crispy chicken wing is the ultimate social food that you just don’t eat, you devour.
But sometimes after so many, that greasy feeling can get to you – it does to me sometimes – so I decided on a different tactic for preparing our favorite finger food: baked in the oven. Now don’t let the word ‘baked’ scare you off before you try the recipe. This is still a party chicken with a crunchy bite and juicy interior. I’m sure that the seasoned wing-connoisseur will have a hard time noticing that these were not fried in grease.
What’s the secret to crispy chicken wings in the oven?
The secret to achieving the crunchy coating in the oven is by using baking powder and a wire rack.
With the combination of the two, the baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA) will help dry out the skin faster because it raises the pH level of the chicken and jumpstarts the browning process while the rack keeps the wings elevated and out of the rendered fat with forms when baking meat. The rack also keeps the hot air circulating around the chicken. So, in the end, no deep fryer needed.
How do you make crispy chicken wings from scratch?
The secret ingredient is aluminum-free baking powder. That doesn’t sound all that fancy or appealing does it? But it’s the only ingredient you can a that will allow you to get a good crispy exterior to the chicken. The other tip is a trick. Use a rack to keep the chicken elevated and out of the rendered fat that forms while they are cooking.
STEP 1: The wings need to be thawed out completely. Rinse them off, then thoroughly dry each one.
STEP 2: Toss with the dry ingredients.
STEP 3: Bake in the oven.
OPTIONAL STEP 4: If you’re going to toss the wings in a sauce, remove them from the oven and let them rest for about 5 minutes. Place the chicken wings in a large mixing bowl, in batches if necessary, and combine with your favorite sauce. A popular sauce is a Buffalo-style sauce.
What type of dip to serve with chicken wings?
A Ranch or bleu cheese dip seems to go with chicken wings like peanut butter and jelly, but there are other options.
- BBQ Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Sweet Chili Garlic
- Garlic Parmesan
- Creole Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Sweet Hot Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce (pictured below)
Tips and Tricks for Crispy Chicken Wings in the Oven
- Besides using the baking powder, the next best tip is to use a metal rack. By placing the chicken wings on the rack, they are elevated and not simmering in the fat that is rendered out of them during the cooking process.
- Don’t overcrowd the rack and pan. The chicken wings need some space to allow the air to circulate about them. By them being separated, this also allows for a more even cooking.
- Shake off any excess flour before placing the chicken wing on the rack. Too much of the flour mixture will put off a bitter flavor.
- Make sure that the chicken wings are completely dry. The less moisture on the wings, the more crispy they will be.
- If you want the wings to come out even crispier, prepare them a day in advance and let them sit in the fridge. This step will allow the baking powder to really dry out the chicken. When you’re ready to cook them, place the already coated wings in the oven and bake.
What do you serve the wings with?
One of my favorite meals to serve these chicken wings are with my Monday Red Beans and Rice. It’s the perfect combination. While the beans are slowly simmering, I can prepare the wings and get them in the oven.
You can also serve the wings with vegetables like carrots and celery sticks. To round out this meal I like to make my Creole Macaroni and Cheese.
We love to party. Chicken Wings are by extension, the perfect party food. With this oven-baked version, you can indulge in a few extra wings without that guilty, greasy feeling – even if you’re walking that off during Mardi Gras parade season.
Let me know what you think of these Crispy Chicken Wings in the comment section below. What is your favorite sauce to coat the wings with or use as a dip?
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Crispy Chicken Wings in the Oven
Don't let this healthier way of making delicious Crispy Chicken Wings in the oven fool you. They are so easy to prepare without the hassle of deep-frying, and you won't believe the crunch. It's wings time!
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp Creole Seasoning I prefer Tony Chachere's or Slap Ya Mama
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat over to 425 degrees.
Make sure that the chicken wings are completely thawed. Rinse chicken wings and pat dry.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, garlic salt, kosher salt, and black pepper. Add the chicken wings and coat with the mixture. Shake off any excess mixture - that's also an important step.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Place a wire baking rack on top of the foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the chicken wings on the rack, about 1-2 inches apart.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the wings over, and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
If you're going to add a sauce to cover the wings, let them sit for at least 5 minutes after cooking before you toss them in your favorite sauce. We usually serve them 'naked' and allow the kids to dip their chicken wings in a dipping sauce.
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Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.