How to Cook Chicken Wings by Boiling First


Nobody likes a soggy chicken wing. Whether you like them mild or extra spicy, part of what makes chicken wings such a popular appetizer and finger food is their crunchy, saucy exterior. If you want to shorten your cooking time and skip the deep fryer, boiling the wings before you cook them reduces cooking time while ensuring crispy results. The process, known as parboiling, helps partially cook the chicken and render some of the fat, letting you create a crispy, lower-fat chicken wing that is sure to please your palate.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Wire rack or towel
  • Sauce (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Trim excess fat off the wings. Place your chicken wings in a large pot and fill it with enough cold water so that the wings are covered by roughly 2 inches of water.

  • Turn the burner on to medium-high or high and bring the pot to a rolling boil. Allow the wings to boil for 10-15 minutes before draining the chicken.

  • Prepare your wing sauce while the chicken wings are boiling. Put the wing sauce in a large bowl or a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.

  • Lay the wings on a rack or pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels. If you are marinating your wings, put them into the sauce and refrigerate them for several hours or as long as two to three days. If you aren’t marinating the wings, either toss them with sauce or season them and place them on a sheet pan.

  • Preheat the oven or broiler. Wing recipes vary widely: Some recipes calling for the wings to be baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit before tossing the wings with more sauce and raising the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes; other recipes call for baking the wings at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes before flipping the wings and baking them for an additional 10 minutes. Another option is to broil the wings, usually for roughly five to six minutes per side.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with cooking methods to find what works best for you. In addition to marinating your wings, consider tossing the chicken wings with sauce before baking them, then basting them with more sauce while they are baking. Another option is to bake them without any sauce, tossing them in wing sauce afterwards and then placing them under the broiler for two to five minutes to get them crispy.
  • Try different wing flavors. While everyone is familiar with the hot sauce and butter sauce that is most commonly associated with Buffalo wings, other options include an Asian-inspired sauce with ginger, honey, garlic and soy sauce. You could also prepare a tropical wing sauce with pineapple juice, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce.

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