Crispy, juicy chicken wings are a favorite for the big game or for any gathering. Chicken wings can be baked, deep-fried or grilled. The method you choose to prepare them depends on the flavor you wish to achieve, the texture of skin you desire and the amount of fat you are willing to introduce to the meal.
Chicken wings are flavorful and tender, but they are not a healthy appetizer. One 3-ounce serving of prepared chicken wings, or approximately three wings, contains almost 15 grams of fat, 136 milligrams of cholesterol and 559 milligrams of sodium. Although chicken wings are a good source of niacin, phosphorous and selenium, if you are watching your intake of fat or sodium, you may be better off getting these nutrients from a boneless-skinless chicken breast instead.
There are many variations on the batter used to deep-fry chicken wings. Dip the wings in egg and then in flour mixed with seasonings, or substitute cornstarch for a lighter, less greasy coating. Then, fry the wings in 375-degree Fahrenheit oil for five minutes, or until the wings are crispy and cooked through. Some cooks prefer to fry the wings twice. The first time they fry them for three minutes, then they remove them to drain and cool. Then, right before serving, they fry the wings for an additional two to three minutes to make the coating crispy.
Wings lend themselves well to grilling because they have a good ratio of fat to meat, according to Stephen Raichlen, author of "How to Grill." To grill your wings, heat the grill to medium-high, or approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the wings and grill them for three minutes of each side, or until they are cooked through and slightly crisp on the outside. Then, toss them in your favorite sauce right before you serve them.
No matter how they are prepared, chicken wings are traditionally served with dips. Choose the traditional ranch or blue cheese, or spice up the selection by adding a sweet chili sauce or a citrus-based sauce. Then, pair the wings with crispy carrot and celery sticks or other vegetables. The crunchy texture of the raw vegetables complements the tender, juicy consistency of the chicken. Provide napkins and utensils with the wings, particularly if they are being served at a business function or other event where the guests are dressed up.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.