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Should Chicken Wings Be Boiled Before Frying Them?

by Maxine Wallace

Parboiling chicken wings cuts down on frying time and can speed up the process, especially if your wings are frozen at the time of cooking. This simple step is easy to complete and helps to expedite the sometimes-arduous task of frying a lot of chicken wings at once, cutting down on the mess.

Parboiling Basics

Parboiling chicken wings is the act of quick-cooking them to tenderize them, remove harsh flavors and get a jump on the cooking process. This is done by submerging split chicken wings in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Add wings to water that is at a rolling boil and begin the timer only after the water begins simmering again after adding the wings. Once drained, the wings are ready to be dredged or battered and fried in hot oil. Parbroiling chicken can be done with either fresh wings or frozen wings, though the cooking time should be adjusted slightly for frozen wings.

Frying Parboiled Wings

Once your wings are parboiled, the steps to fry them are the same as if they were fresh; only the cooking time must be shortened. A shorter cooking time means less oil absorbed during cooking, making for slightly healthier fried chicken wings. Dredge the chicken wings in flour or dip them in a batter of your choice. Fry the wings in batches in oil heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit until they become a golden brown color and drain well before serving.

Oven-Fried Chicken Wings

Parboiling is a perfect idea when making oven-fried chicken wings. This extra step allows you to ensure that the meat is cooked, without burning the exterior of the wings in the oven to do so. After parboiling, dredge wings in flour, dip in beaten egg or milk and roll in breadcrumbs or panko. Arrange wings on a baking sheet and broil the wings just 6 inches from the flame for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side to achieve a crisp, oven-fried interpretation of fried chicken wings.

Frying Without Parboiling

Chicken wings are so small and fast-cooking that parboiling is not necessary to expertly fry them. To skip the parboiling step, simply heat your oil to 375 F and submerge the dredged wings in the oil. Fresh wings will need to be cooked for about 10 minutes in hot oil; check internal temperature to ensure it reaches 165 F, and pay close attention to the color of the chicken coating to gauge doneness. Finished pieces should be golden brown.

About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Maxine Wallace is a writer with more than 12 years of experience. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and experience working on marketing campaigns for large media agencies, she is well-versed in multiple industries including the Internet, cooking, gardening, health, fitness, travel and holistic living.

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