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What Are Chicken Wings?
Chicken wings are the part of the chicken that it flaps to fly short distances. They’re attached to the body at the shoulder, and they're the least meaty part of the chicken that we commonly eat. Since they contain so little meat, chicken wings are always sold bone-in and skin-on.
3 Parts of the Chicken Wing
Uneven in shape and thickness, the wing is often cut into three smaller pieces: the drumette, the flat, and the tip.
- The drumette is the part that attaches to the body of the chicken and runs from shoulder to elbow.
- The flat (aka midsection or winglette) covers the area between the elbow and wing tip and is the part most often used for buffalo wings.
- The tip is the end of the wing and contains almost no meat, just skin and cartilage. Crunchy and chewy, the tip is often discarded in the US, but is great for chicken stock.
7 Ways to Cook Chicken Wings
- Bake: Bake dry-rubbed chicken wings in a 450°F oven until the fat has rendered and the skin is crisp and golden, about 35–50 minutes.
- Deep-fry: Frying is the classic method for making Buffalo chicken wings. Since wings are small, you don’t need a dedicated deep-fryer or huge stock pot to fully submerge wings in oil.
- Broil: Broil on low, flipping wings halfway through, until cooked through, about 20–30 minutes total. Toss with a sauce or glaze, if using, then broil on high until browned.
- Braise: Brown chicken wings in an oiled pan or wok, then add braising liquid, bring to a boil, and simmer chicken wings until tender, about 35–45 minutes.
- Grill: Cook chicken wings over a charcoal or gas grill with a two-zone fire (one side of the grill should be moderately hot, the other cooler). Grill wings on the cooler side until wings are cooked through and fat has rendered, about 15–20 minutes. Toss with a sauce or glaze and then move to the hotter side and grill until browned.
- Air-Fry: If you have an air-fryer, try cooking wings at 380°F for 25 minutes, then increase the heat to 400°F and cook until crispy, about 5–15 minutes longer. Make sure to shake the basket of the air-fryer every 5 minutes.
- Smoke: Make barbecued chicken wings in a dedicated smoker, or use a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, place coals on one side of the grill and hardwood chips on the other. For a gas grill, place hardwood chips in a smoker box. Cook wings over indirect heat until wings reach an internal temperature of 165°F, about 1½ to 2 hours.
How Long Does It Take to Bake Chicken Wings?
In a 450°F oven, chicken wings will bake in about 40-45 minutes. Although there’s not much meat on the wing, you’ll need to cook them long enough for the fat to render, or the skin won’t crisp up. For the most even cooking, separate wings into wings and drumettes, saving the tips for another use, so they’ll lay flat on a baking sheet.
6 Ways to Season Chicken Wings
- Buffalo hot wings: Mild hot sauce (traditionally Frank’s RedHot or try a spicy hot sauce of your choice), melted butter, garlic, white vinegar, kosher salt, and black pepper. This gluten-free party dish is the best wings recipe to make for a Super Bowl party.
- Chinese-style lacquered chicken wings: Soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, cayenne pepper, and orange zest.
- Thai-style fried chicken wings: Fish sauce, white pepper, and tempura flour.
- Adobo-braised chicken wings: Soy sauce, garlic, white vinegar, bay leaves, and coconut milk.
- Korean-style chicken wings: Soy sauce, gochujang, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and fresh ginger.
- Dry-rub barbecue chicken wings: Paprika, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle chili powder, and mustard powder.
5 Sauces That Pair With Chicken Wings
- Blue cheese dressing: Crumbled blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, buttermilk, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Thai dipping sauce: Palm sugar, fish sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice, chili flakes, ground toasted rice, and fresh cilantro.
- Ranch dressing: Mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic, onion, salt, dry mustard, fresh chives, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh dill, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Honey mustard dipping sauce: Mayonnaise, dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Aaron Franklin’s barbecue sauce: Franklin’s barbecue sauce features fat (such as beef tallow, vegetable oil, lard, or bacon fat), onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, smoked paprika, mustard powder, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
Easy Baked Chicken Wing Recipe With Buffalo Sauce
Prep Time15 min
Total Time1 hr 15 min
- 4 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and flats (save tips for stock)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt (2 teaspoons or less if using other brands)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup mild red hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set an oven-proof wire rack inside. Thoroughly pat wings dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, combine baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add wings and toss to evenly coat. Arrange wings on the rack, leaving a little space between each wing. Let wings rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator, at least 8 and up to 24 hours.
- Place rack in upper-middle position in oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Place wings on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake wings for 20 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until they're golden and crispy, about 15–30 more minutes, flipping to make sure they’re golden on all sides. Remove from oven and let wings rest on rack to cool slightly, 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk butter, hot sauce, and honey to combine. Transfer wings to a large clean bowl and toss wings in sauce to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
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