I came across this recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Wings in one of my older issues of Cooks Country Magazine (I keep every issue and re-read them from time to time). We make a lot of chicken in the oven and no matter how hard I’ve tried I just couldn’t get them as crispy as we’d like. That is a thing of the past my friends because this article from Cooks Country demystified the science behind achieving perfectly crispy baked chicken wings without frying. This opened a whole new world for our oven-fried wings. In just reading the article, I was already dreaming up all the yumminess I could make. This statement goes double for my husband. I’m really not sure which one of us was more interested in the article.
The recipe is very simple to follow but I do want to take a minute to stress that the ingredient being used to make the chicken crispy is Baking Powder NOT Baking Soda. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) tastes horrible and you certainly would not want to make that mistake and ruin your chicken. However, you cannot taste the baking powder at all — it’s amazing just how crispy this method gets the wings. It really is like they’ve been fried. The Chemistry behind the method is that the baking powder draws the excess moisture in the skin to the surface where it evaporates leaving a nice crispy exterior. But don’t worry that these wings will therefore be dry — they are still tender and juicy!
Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- 4 lb chicken wings, split
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Cooking Oil spray
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Line a baking pan with foil, then place a rack (like a cooling rack) on the foil. Spray the rack with cooking oil spray. This makes for quick clean up.
- Place wings in a large bowl or in a zip top bag. Add the baking powder and salt, then toss to coat evenly. I find a zip top is easiest for this with less mess.
- Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer with the skin side up. They will fit snugly.
- Place wings on the lower middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
- Move wings up to the upper middle rack and increase the oven temperature to 425°F.
- Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove baking pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Toss wings in your favorite sauce and serve.
Like when smoking chicken, you can uncover the chicken wings and leave them in the fridge for a few hours to dry out for a few hours or up to overnight. However, I've found that laying them out on a cooking tray lined with paper towels and then patting the tops dry works equally as well.
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