The crispiness of fried chicken wings is hard to duplicate when you bake them, as the fat on the wings doesn't crisp up well in the oven. Baked chicken wings are a healthier option, but without a good crunch, they just aren't the same. However, if you boil the chicken before frying them, it renders off some of the fat on the skin, which makes your wings much crispier and closer in texture to fried chicken wings.
Boiling the Wings
Cut your chicken wings into smaller pieces if you purchased them whole. On a clean cutting board, cut directly between the two joints on each chicken wing with a sharp chef's knife, creating a drumette, a wingette and a tip. Discard the thin tip ends or save them for chicken stock.
Fill a pot with water and add the chicken wings. Bring to a boil over high heat and let the wings cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain the water from the chicken wings in a colander. Pat them dry thoroughly with a paper towel. The drier the chicken wings, the better they will crisp up.
Baking the Wings
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and season the chicken wings as desired. Common options include salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. You can also baste them in a sauce of your choice, such as barbecue or buffalo sauce.
Place the chicken wings on a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put them in the oven to bake 30 to 40 minutes, until they turn golden brown, turning them halfway through with tongs.
Remove the chicken wings from the oven. Toss them in more sauce at this time if you choose or serve them hot, as is.
- Add spices such as salt, garlic and cayenne pepper to the water while the chicken wings are boiling to infuse more flavor into them, if desired.
- For faster chicken wings, turn the oven to broil and place the pan and wire rack of chicken directly under the broiler heat, for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. The fast broiling can help get the wings even crunchier.
- Chicken wings must be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption, as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.
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