Everyone’s developed some skills over the pandemic to keep themselves busy at home. For me it was learning to cook all the things I love to go out for, but are never the same when you get them delivered. If you’re looking for a recipe to make at home while watching Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I have a perfect one for you.
Today I’m going to share my recipe for making chicken wings at home that are so good and so fast you’ll feel guilty about paying a premium for them ever again.
I’m going to spare you the 1,000 word preamble about how this recipe came to me in a dream, and how my family loves it — like every other food blog in existence. I more or less lifted parts of this recipe from Alton Brown, and made some tweaks to get it where it needs to be for my home. This entire damn recipe is going to cost you less than $10, and you’ll thank me later.
What you’ll need
- Chicken wings.
- Baking powder.
- Hot sauce.
- Wire racks.
- Baking sheet.
- Mixing bowl.
- Non-stick spray.
The first thing you’ll need to do is break down your wings. When you get them from the store you’ll get the entire wing section. Using a sharp knife you want to take off the wing tips, which aren’t very appetizing. You then want to bend the wing backwards at the joint, cut the small flap of skin to expose the joint, and cut right between this section. That’s what will get you your drums and flats.
You can expect a two-pound package of wings to get you around 24 finished wings, give or take.
The next part does require some measurement — I know, I’m sorry. I tried just estimating this in the past, and it turned out poorly. What I’ve found works best is 2 tbsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of salt per pound of wings. This is what’s going to make your wings crispy, not especially for flavor. Keep in mind that baking powder has a pretty high sodium content in it already, so you don’t want to turn these into a salt bomb.
Toss the raw wings in the mixture, ensuring all sides are covered. Add a little more baking powder if needed, but don’t go overboard. Transfer to a wire rack so air can circulate around it, and put on a baking sheet to catch drips. Leave in your refrigerator, uncovered for 12-24 hours. The longer you wait the crispier the wings will be, but I’ve found that anything over 24 hours dries them out too much.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Remove the wings from the wire rack and spray the rack with non-stick spray, before returning the wings to it.
Bake at 450 for 45 minutes, turning the wings once midway through. That’s it.
While the wings are cooking melt a half-cup of butter per pound of wings, and gently heat one cup of your chosen hot sauce. Now, when it comes to default hot sauce my preferred is Crystal, but for wings I like Louisiana best. Really, you can use whatever you want. The only reason we heat the hot sauce is so it won’t cause the butter to solidify then they’re mixed.
Whisk together the butter and hot sauce in a bowl, add the wings and toss liberally. Serve and done.
Other sauce ideas
I like sauces to be simple and effective. One of my favorites is 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, 1⁄4 cup Korean Gochujang sauce, and 1⁄2 - 1 tsbp of warm water to thin it out a bit (depending on the thickness of your gochujang). Top with some sesame seeds and you have the perfect spicy Korean Q sauce.
Butter is a vehicle for most any sauces. Mixing melted butter with some garlic powder and parmesan cheese will give you a great garlic parm sauce for people who don’t like spice.
The real star of this recipe are the wings. They’re crispy, their juicy, and you absolutely won’t miss them being deep fried. I promise.