I am not what we’d call “proper” when it comes to table manners. I rest my elbows on the table. I devour my dinner in record time. If I chew on gristle or bone, I’ll stick my hands right in my mouth and pick it out without a second thought. When I eat, I can guarantee that I will make a mess in my wake. I lick the sauce off of my fingers.
Essentially, I’m not the sort of person that fits in at a fancy restaurant (although that doesn’t stop me from trying occasionally). I’m much more myself with a big bowl of sticky wings in front of me. What’s more natural than chowing down on chicken wings and throwing caution and utensils to the wind?
That’s why we all love to eat wings on the weekends with our closest friends– it allows us to be the kind-of-disgusting people that we are worn out from suppressing all week. Or maybe that’s just me? Regardless, the only less-than-amazing thing about wings is that I have to drive to get them, because deep frying at home is always a pain in the butt that I don’t want to deal with. Scratch that, there’s one more less-than-amazing thing about them: the fact that they’re deep fried in the first place. I’ve got a New Year’s Resolution to pretend I’m sticking to, after all.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that Cook’s Illustrated explained how to make perfectly crispy wings with no added oil at all. I was a bit skeptical, but according to them, baking powder would render out the natural fats in the wings to essentially fry the skin as they bake. Baking powder seemed like a weird thing to add to wings, and I worried that the taste of baking powder would be overwhelming, but I still decided to try it out.
Can you tell just how crispy they became? The wings stayed juicy on the inside, but the outsides were so crisp that they gave a tiny echo when I tapped them with my tongs.
The baking powder flavor wasn’t overwhelming, in fact it wasn’t detectable at all! After tossing these in a simple Honey Chipotle Garlic Sauce, the Crispy Baked Chicken Wings sealed their place as my go-to wing recipe.
These will fly off the plate at any party, and seem especially perfect for the upcoming Super Bowl! I know I’ll be making another batch! I might even make half of them with the Honey Chipotle Garlic Sauce and half with the classic Buffalo Sauce. You can never have too many wing options.
- 3 lbs chicken wingettes
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 canned chipotle chile, minced, plus 1 teaspoon canned adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- Green onion, chopped, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a grate on top. Spray the grate lightly with nonstick spray. Move the oven rack to the lower middle position.
- Dab the chicken wings with a paper towel to dry them. In a large freezer bag, combine the wingettes, baking powder, and salt, and toss to coat the wings well. Remove the wings from the bag and lay them out on the grate, skin side up.
- Bake on the lower middle rack for 30 minutes.
- Move the rack to the upper middle position and increase the temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour or until crisp and golden brown, turning the tray once.
- As the wings cook, prepare the sauce.
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients (except the green onion) and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to a low simmer and let cook until slightly reduced and the wings are baked.
- Toss the wings in the sauce and garnish with green onion. Serve warm.
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