Chicken wings are commonly fried in hot oil in a skillet on the stove top or in a deep fryer, but you can achieve a similar result by baking them in the oven in a cast iron skillet. The cast iron should be well-seasoned to prevent sticking. The hardest part about baking hot wings is achieving maximum flavor because they don't get the flavor boost from flavorful hot oil.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the chicken as desired, such as with basic salt and pepper.
Toss the chicken wings in Buffalo sauce as a marinade. Place the wings and sauce in a plastic storage bag and refrigerate for about 1 hour to marinate the wings. Buffalo sauce is simply a mixture of roughly equal parts mild hot sauce and melted butter. Oven baking doesn't leave the wing skin with all the nooks and crannies for absorbing sauce that you achieve through frying, so marinating the wings is an extra opportunity to infuse them with Buffalo sauce flavor.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cast iron distributes heat evenly, which allows for even cooking throughout the pan.
Drip the excess marinade from the chicken wings. Place the marinated chicken wings in the cast iron skillet with the skin sides facing up. The sides of the chicken can be touching but shouldn't overlap.
Bake the wings for about 30 minutes. Flip the wings over and bake for about 15 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 F. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the wings to check the temperature, but do not hit the bone with the thermometer.
Remove the chicken from the pan with a pair of tongs. Toss them with another coat of Buffalo sauce. Make a fresh batch of Buffalo sauce; do not use the same Buffalo sauce you used to marinate raw chicken.
- If desired, you can skip the Buffalo sauce marinade and coat the chicken wings with a light dusting of flour. The flour makes the wings less like true Buffalo wings, but encourages the Buffalo sauce to stick to the wings after baking.
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