It's been a long time since I've been able to go out to a local pub for chicken wings. Since the birth of my darling daughter, actually. Such liquor-serving establishments tend to frown upon the accompaniment of minors, and given that babysitting s at a premium for us, I wanted to figure out a way to enjoy those delicious, mouth-watering wings, but without having to find a babysitter.
Below are two different cooking techniques - the pub-style deep-fry, and a more kitchen-friendly baked version. The fried ones are more authentic, cook a little faster (though in smaller batches, so perhaps it evens out for large amounts), and are a little more greasy. Baked are still quite good (especially when you're coating them in copious amounts of sauce), and less greasy. Regardless of which method you choose, the prep is pretty much the same up until you apply the heat. I made these wings in a 3-lb batch, but this recipe is easily scaled for more or less. Measurements are approximate anyway, and seasonings are to my taste, so feel free to adjust for your own liking.
You will need:
- 3 lbs chicken wings, split and tips discarded (you can buy frozen, pre-split wings in large boxes if you so desire!)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
Step 1: Choose your cooking method. If you are baking, preheat your oven to 425, get an appropriately-sized pan and spray it with cooking oil. If you are frying, get a good, wide pot and heat a light oil (canola is good) to about 375 over medium to medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it with a candy/frying thermometer - it is essential that you not overheat your oil. Or, use a deep-fryer set to 375 (or thereabouts).
Steps 2 through 4 are the same, no matter what cooking method you use.
Step 2: Boil your chicken wings. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop 'em on in (still frozen is fine!). Bring back to a boil, turn heat down so you don't get chicken-water all over your stove, and boil for 10 minutes or so. Do this in batches if necessary, just strain out the wings, bring it back to a boil and add more. Drain, and set aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine flour and desired spices. Toss with a fork to combine.
Step 4: Dredge chicken wings in seasoned flour. Toss in 6 or so, toss the bowl around to make sure they're coated. Pick them out, shake off the excess, and proceed to your desired cooking method. (If you are frying, dredge your wings just before you drop them into the oil, to avoid them getting soggy while you are frying a previous batch).
Step 5: Arrange your dredged chicken wings on a greased baking sheet. Spray with Pam (or other such spray oil) to get a light coating - this little bit of oil will help the flour coating crisp up nicely.
Step 6: Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes, until crispy and golden and delicious! Skip ahead past the frying directions for seasoning.
Step 5: Gently lower your dredged wings into the hot oil. I suggest frying in small batches - too much at once will lower the temperature of your oil quickly and result in overly-greasy wings. Be careful if using the open-pot method - the oil will bubble up with each addition. Add wings a couple at a time until you are comfortable with how many are in there. Let fry for 10 minutes or so, until wings are golden and crispy.
Step 6: Skim out the cooked wings, lay on a paper-toweled baking sheet and pop in the oven at 200-250 to keep warm while the rest of your wings cook. Repeat this until you are done.
Now, the following steps are for seasoning all your wings, both baked and fried!
Step 7: For dry-seasoned wings (salt & pepper, lemon pepper, etc), sprinkle your wings liberally with your seasoning of choice. For saucy wings, put your cooked wings in a bowl (with a lid is better), add a splash of your sauce of choice, and toss 'til evenly coated.
Step 8: Serve, with ranch or blue cheese dressings to dip, and enjoy with your beverage of choice!