Hot wings are not only a staple of the winter sports season, they’re a favorite treat for little ones if they’re not made with too much eye-watering hot sauce. Baking wings before frying ensures that they are cooked through and require less time in the fryer. This allows you to make small batches very quickly without having to worry about them being cooked to a safe temperature. Offer wings Buffalo-style with celery and blue cheese dressing for a fresh and flavorful snack the whole family will love.
Frying for Maximum Crispness
Whether you use a deep fryer with a basket or a skillet on the stove top, frying involves submerging the wings into oil that has been heated to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives the outer skin of the wings a light crispness while cooking the meat quickly, preserving the natural juiciness. But it is difficult to check the internal temperature of chicken wings with an instant-read thermometer because there is so little meat on them. Frying raw chicken wings without baking them first carries the risk of serving them before they have reached their safe internal temperature. Baking them first allows you to create a crisp crust without worrying about whether or not the wings have cooked thoroughly.
Make hot, fresh wings for all
Baking wings cooks them through and helps brings out their rich flavor. Bake the wings plain, with a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper and whatever other seasonings you prefer. When cooking for a crowd, bake your entire supply of wings ahead of time and then fry them in small batches. Doing so not only ensures that everyone gets hot, fresh wings, it allows you to brush some batches with spicy, adult sauces and give kid-friendly batches a brush with a sweeter, milder sauce.
There are several good reasons for baking wings before frying them. Baking the wings first removes the risk of serving undercooked wings, which is the most compelling reason. Baking the wings ahead of time means less time standing over the fryer and more time enjoying the game. Finally, baked wings spend less time absorbing the frying oil which is really only a consideration if you are counting every calorie. On the downside, wings have such a small bit of meat on them that it is very easy to overcook them when double-processing in this way, so keep your eye on the oven timer and take the wings out of the oven the second they are done.
Tips and Hints
Coat your wings in a thin layer of corn starch and bake them for at least 30 minutes. Turn them over with tongs and cook them for another 10 minutes. They will continue cooking for a few minutes after you remove them from the oven and they will cook more when they're being fried, so the chances that you will serve one raw enough to be dangerous is almost nil when you double-process them this way.
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.
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