About a year ago I came across a method of cooking wings that claimed to be “as good as fried” and I side-eyed it with all the skepticism that type of claim deserved. I watched as people I knew tried it, bloggers and food magazines reported on it, and all taste testers gave it the double thumbs up. So I had to try it. HAD TO! And I was shocked. The skin was oh-so-crispy, the fat was rendered (no more gross rubbery skin!), and the sauce stuck to them like those restaurant wings I devour. The results? Oh, they weren’t as good as fried, they were even better. Truly, and honestly, better. Juicy meat, super crispy skin that didn’t get soggy even when it sat drenched in sauce while I watched the game, absolutely the best wings I’d ever had. So, I’m sold. Although the baking powder and long cooking time made me nervous, it turns out perfect every single time. I’ve made these no less than two dozen times and every time I’m blown away. No need for any other method ever.
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
Things You'll Need
4 lbs chicken wings or drumettes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup buffalo sauce (such as Franks Original Red Sauce or this easy homemade version)
The baking powder and the long cooking time may seem odd, but it's the secret to the perfect wings. Don't be afraid!
Step 1: Dry the Chicken and Coat With Baking Powder
Pat the chicken dry using paper towels (if possible, allow to air dry in the fridge, uncovered, for a few hours). Sprinkle with salt and baking powder, toss to coat. This can be done in a large bowl or a large zip-top style plastic bag.
Step 2: Add to a Baking Sheet
Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place over a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up). Add the chicken in a single layer.
Step 3: Bake at a Low Temperature
Place one rack of the oven at the bottom and one in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack and bake at 250 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Bake at a High Temperature
Move the chicken to the top rack, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake until the skin is golden brown, about 35 to 40 additional minutes.
Step 5: Toss With the Sauce
Stir together the melted butter, honey and buffalo sauce. Add the wings to a large bowl, drizzle with the sauce, and toss to coat.
Not a fan of buffalo sauce? Try teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, or stir together 1/2 cup mustard, 1/4 cup honey and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.