Also known as: The Best Damn Homemade Chicken Wings; Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings You Didn't Know You Could Make; How To Make Your Homemade Chicken Wings Not Suck; Did You Know You Can Make Crispy Buffalo Wings At Home?
Alternate headlines aside, these are truly the best homemade chicken wings you will ever make. They're so good that I declared these the best wings I've ever had as I crunched on a wing tip. They're so perfect that I immediately decided I would never order restaurant buffalo wings again. And I was so taken aback that I abandoned everything I had promised to do tonight in order to write about it. (Dishes, paying my rent, and those couple of work to-do's will have to wait until later.)
I came to the gradual understanding years ago that a flawlessly crispy chicken wing simply would not be achievable in an oven. My loving mom bought me a small deep-fryer one Christmas and though I've used it to fry small treats like cauliflower and beignets (yes, cauliflower counts as a treat if you roll it in buffalo sauce once cooked), I couldn't really bring myself to fry up chicken wings in it. It just seemed like so much work particularly when I knew I could just stumble to the pub down my block and chow down with a pint of Shock Top.
But then I stumbled upon one of J. Kenji López-Alt's always-thorough culinary expeditions on Serious Eats. His post on oven-fried wings is an absolute gold mine and worth a read if you're half as wing-obsessed as I am. I promptly bought a batch of wings and followed his recipe very closely. As I prepared this dish I started to make a couple of small changes - particularly using more baking powder and salt, and a little less butter. Below is how I made the recipe in my own home.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- About 1-1/2 pound chicken wings (I had 6)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- Celery sticks (optional)
- Blue cheese (optional)
- Ranch dressing (optional)
1. Line the bottom shelf of your refrigerator with two layers of paper towels. Using separate paper towels, carefully dry chicken wings. Place wings in a large bowl, sprinkle the baking powder and salt, and toss evenly to coat. Place on wire rack, leaving slight space between each wing.
2. Place wire rack with wings on the paper towel in the fridge and allow to rest, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Transfer the dried-out-still-raw wings to a plate, and place the wire rack on a baking sheet. Lightly spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place wings back onto the wire rack and cook for 20 minutes, skin side up. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15-20 minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile, combine butter and hot sauce in small saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking until combined. Transfer wings to large bowl, add sauce, toss to thoroughly coat, and serve immediately with whatever sauces and fix-ins you want.