This oven-fried version of chicken wings definitely files under hearty comfort food, and will satisfy any craving for crunchy chicken. Serve with greens for contrast in flavour and texture: the sweet, juicy vegetables and crispy, craggy chicken.
I don’t ever fry anything. Note webcomic.
Fried things are VERY appetizing, and I will not try to say that “baked is just as good as fried”, because let’s not kid ourselves.
However, oil is just too much of a hassle to deal with for me – what do I do with the rest of it? what if I don’t want to smell like oil all day? what if I don’t want to deal with splattering oil? In order to avoid trouble, I bake my doughnuts, shrimp and fries. These chicken wings are also baked, but they have a magic ingredient to give them their fried texture: baking powder (NOT baking soda!). I’m serious, it works. Don’t worry about the chicken having a soapy taste; the baking soda will only dry out the wings and react with the natural oil in chicken skin.
When I took these out of the oven, it smelled like fried chicken: of poultry, and heat, and that distinct smell you’d get from a plate of popcorn chicken or a fried fast food chicken leg. These wings are also awfully crispy – when you run your fork across the surface of a wing, it sounds crackly, dry and crunchy.
In terms of the spices: you can honestly use whatever you want. You could put rosemary instead, or parsley, or even leave out the cayenne if you don’t like a kick to your food. However, I recommend using dry spices since they stick to the chicken better and have a stronger flavour.
OVEN FRIED CHICKEN WINGS
Source: The baking soda idea is from Chef John (my hero!). All else is from experiments
2 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt & Pepper (I use 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil and fitted with a wire rack. (Note: this recipe can work if you don’t have a wire rack, but it will not be as crispy.)
- Mix all spices and baking powder in a small bowl.
- Put the chicken in a large bowl. Toss chicken with all the dry spices and baking powder to coat.
- Place chicken on wire rack, skin side up. Try to make them not touch other, or it will steam instead of “fry”.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then flip all the wings to their other side.
- Bake for another 20 minutes, and flip the wings again. They should be skin side up again.
- Bake for a final 15 minutes.