January 14, 2014

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce

The secret to CRISPY wings baked in the oven! These chicken wings are amazingly easy and just as good and crispy as fried wings. Plus a recipe for sweet Asian hot wing sauce.


Me:  OHMUHGAH, I read THE most amazing, life-changing article on BAKING chicken wings in the oven that are actually CRISPY!

Beth:  Me too!

Me:  Can you believe the secret is to… Wait. You’re making fun of me aren't you?

Beth:  Yep!

Jessica:  I knew something was up because when does Beth read??

Me:  I know, right?!

Beth:  Hey! Don’t make fun of me, Mandy’s the only dork who would get that excited reading about chicken wings.

Me:  This is true.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce! The secret to CRISPY wings baked in the oven! These chicken wings are amazingly easy and just as good and crispy as fried wings. Plus a recipe for sweet Asian hot wing sauce.

So, I came across this article months ago and it just blew my mind! I love chicken wings but I hate cooking them because frying them is a major time-consuming, expensive, messy undertaking and baking them has always yielded gummy, sticky, fatty wings. Wings have to be crispy! But ain't nobody got time to fry them!

And yes, I am a total dork when it comes to food. If I found a marathon of Alton Brown’s Good Eats on TV I wouldn't be able to leave the couch. Learning the whys of cooking is just fascinating to me. And the scientific approach that chefs like Alton Brown and websites like Serious Eats take have taught me how to create better recipes.

So, anyway, this article from Serious Eats goes into all the technical reasons why, but ultimately, to get crispy wings from the oven, you have to desiccate or dry them out first. You do this by coating them in baking powder (a natural desiccant) and leaving them in the refrigerator, uncovered for several hours (refrigerators also dehydrate).

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce! The secret to CRISPY wings baked in the oven! These chicken wings are amazingly easy and just as good and crispy as fried wings. Plus a recipe for sweet Asian hot wing sauce.

I know many of you will feel weird about leaving chicken out in the open in your refrigerator. Just remember to have everything else sealed up so no smells or germs are floating around and I think you’ll be good.

I bought a 3-tier cooling rack at Wal-Mart for less than $10 to dry my wings. I needed one anyway and using a stackable rack made it much easier to find room in the fridge for all these wings.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce! The secret to CRISPY wings baked in the oven! These chicken wings are amazingly easy and just as good and crispy as fried wings. Plus a recipe for sweet Asian hot wing sauce.

Now, about the sauce! Remember that little honky tonk I worked in waaaaay back in college? Well, we had ah maze ing wings! And I've never had anything like them anywhere else. The story goes that the recipe came from one of the bigwig wing places that hit the scene during the Buffalo Wing explosion in the early 90’s.

Our hot wing sauce wasn't the typical, cloying, orangey-red chili pepper based sauce, but more of a glaze that was a little sweet. I've always thought of it as sort of a sweet Asian hot wing sauce so that’s what I’m going to call it!


Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce

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Crispy Baked Chicken Wings with Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Author:
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 35 M
The secret to CRISPY wings baked in the oven! These chicken wings are amazingly easy and just as good and crispy as fried wings. Plus a recipe for sweet Asian hot wing sauce.

Ingredients:

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
  • 4 pounds chicken wing sections
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce (optional)
Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed

Instructions:

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
  1. Carefully dry chicken wings with clean kitchen towels or paper towels (really do a good job at this – there can’t be any moisture left on the wings).
  2. Arrange wings on cooling racks in a single layer. Sprinkle wings with half of the baking powder (I added mine to an old spice jar to make easy work of the sprinkling). Flip wings and sprinkle the other side with the remainder of the baking powder.
  3. Place wings, on racks, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  4. Season wings with salt and pepper then arrange in a single layer on one extra-large or two normal baking pans sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Bake wings at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip wings then continue baking for 15-20 minutes longer or until crispy and golden brown.
  6. Toss wings with wing sauce and serve immediately.
Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Use sauce hot or at room temperature.
  2. Discard garlic when ready to serve.

Notes:

Want a little more Asian zing? Add fresh ginger and red pepper flakes to the wing sauce.
Use Hot Sauce, not Hot WING Sauce (such as Texas Pete or Frank’s) in the Sweet Asian Hot Wing Sauce
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