Who doesn’t love crispy fried chicken wings??? Whether it’s game day or just Sunday, everyone loves watching some good TV over a mess of wings but who has the time (and the oil) for frying them? The secret to these crispy wings is not frying them, but par-boiling in water before you bake them and you will never know the difference.
I make these about once a week because they’re so easy and so tasty. I wasn’t going to post this recipe because it’s pretty basic but someone recently asked me how to make them and I figured everyone should know how to do this. These will knock your socks and your wing tips off.
Start with about 3-4 lbs of chicken wings for 2-3 people. I tend to eat these as a meal and I can easily chow down 1-2 lbs myself. There’s not much meat on these little guys and after I remove the wing tip there’s not as much meat as it sounds. My Whole Foods sells these full wings with tips and drummettes attached. If your butcher or grocer sells them separated, awesome! But they’re easy to separate yourself if you must.
I start by firmly wiggling my knife into the joint between the drummette and the wing. You shouldn’t have to work hard to make this cut. If the knife isn’t easily sliding through, carefully move it around until it slides into the joint between the bones for a clean easy cut. If you can’t find it, hold the knife carefully and wiggle the wing itself. The knife should find it’s way into the joint.
Do the same for the wing tip. For a pro tip, save the wing tips in a zip lock bag in your freezer. You can toss them into your stock pot when you’re making stock or soup.
This is what the wing looks like fully sectioned. If you’ve never done this, that’s the drummette on top, wing tip in middle, and wing on bottom.
While you’re cutting your wings, have a pot of water coming to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, add about a tablespoon of salt and mix. Add your chicken, bring back to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes. The par-boiling renders some fat out of the wings and helps you get a much crisper wing in the oven.
After 10 minutes, drain the wings in a colander and pat them dry with paper towels. Once dried, lay them out on a rack over a baking sheet or roasting pan. The hardest part of this recipe is cleaning the roasting pan so I had a moment of genius today and lined it with foil before laying out the wings.
The wings will go into an oven preheated to 450 for about 45 minutes, flipped halfway through. My oven runs cool so these may cook faster for you. Just keep an eye on them and cook until they are crisp to the touch.
While your wings are baking, prepare your blue cheese dip. The more I cook the more I really can’t be bothered to measure things. I eyeball this dip recipe by combining equal parts of blue cheese, sour cream, and homemade mayo, with a pinch of garlic. If you don’t eat dairy, you can easily make a homemade ranch dip with your mayo which is just as good!
When your wings are almost done, combine 1/4 cup hot sauce with 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and melt and combine. You can add a pinch of garlic here and some cayenne if you like it spicy too. I use whatever hot sauce I have on hand which is usually a combination of some habanero sauce and franks hot sauce. Just find something with clean ingredients and experiment until you find something you like. If you need more, double it.
Toss the sauce with your hot wings.
Serve everything immediately!