Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Easiest Crispy Baked Chicken Wings EVER

With football season comes fun snack food, at least in our house.  I've made a bunch of yummy stuff lately, but ever since I made those low carb boneless wings with "Who Needs Buffalo?" Sauce last month I've really been craving chicken wings.

I'm a little obsessed with that sauce, truth be told.  Goodness it's good.

Anyway, while I enjoy those boneless wings and they're definitely delicious, I really enjoy a real wing too.  One that actually comes from the wing and doesn't require breading.

I've kind of shied away from making wings over the years because I really didn't feel like I knew what I was doing when I made them and I had an incredibly hard time achieving a crispy skin without frying them.  I even went so far as to remove the skin before cooking them just so they wouldn't be soggy and gross.

Have you ever tried skinning a bunch of chicken wings?
No? That's because you're normal.
Just trust me, it's a huge pain.  Plus you don't get that nice crisp outside underneath the sauce.

Anyway, with my sudden desire to eat as much of my favorite spicy sauce as possible I started searching for a recipe for crispy baked wings.  Thankfully I found it- and it honestly couldn't be more simple!

 I found the recipe on Nagi's site, Recipe Tin Eats- and she, in turn, got it from Cook's Illustrated.

I would never, ever, ever have thought this up on my own!  It's kind of weird.

All you do is toss the wings with baking powder and salt.  Then you cook them at a really low temperature (250° F!)  This helps to melt the fat underneath the skin.  Then the heat is bumped waaaaay up to 425° F and the wings are cooked for way longer than I would have ever thought to keep them in the oven- almost an hour!  The skin gets nice and crispy without burning and the meat gets amazingly tender.

I've made a big batch of these three times in as many weeks!  I've started keeping bags of frozen wings in the freezer so I have them available when the wing-mood strikes.

I'm not sure there's an easier food to make out there, seriously.  These pack such a satisfying punch for such a small amount of work.  I served mine with my "Who Needs Buffalo?" sauce (another easy recipe), but you could serve these with any sauce you like.


P.S.- Try dipping your hot wings in this amazing blue cheese dressing- it's to die for!

Truly Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
From Recipe Tin Eats & Cook's Illustrated

5 lb chicken wings, cut into wingettes and drumettes (tips discarded) and trimmed of excessive skin
3 Tbsp baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA / BI-CARB SODA!!

1 tsp salt
Oil spray

1. Use a paper towel to pat the wings dry.  Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.  Preheat oven to 250°F.

2. Line a baking tray with foil, then place a rack (like a cooling rack) on the foil. Spray the rack with oil spray.

3. Place wings in a large bowl or in a ziplock bag. Add the baking powder and salt, then toss to coat evenly.

4. Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer with the skin side up. They should just fit snugly. They will shrink when they cook because the fat renders out so don't worry if they look too snug.  Place wings on the lower middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Move wings up to the upper middle rack and increase the oven temperature to 425°F.  Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.  Remove baking tray from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.

6. Toss wings in sauce of choice (or serve it on the side to dip / drizzle on the wings), then serve.

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