While anticipating the Green Bay Packer game last Sunday (they won!), a craving for buffalo chicken wings entered my brain. But, I did not want to buy the take-out ones and I did not want to deep-fry anything (you will not see me deep-frying anything here!). So, I searched the web for some baked versions. I found a few and came up with one from Kristin at Yellow Bliss Road that made the cut. I searched for my usual criteria, fast (40 minutes from start to finish), easy (not many pans, a few steps), and tasty (the sauce looked tasty–how can you go wrong with Frank’s Red Hot and butter!). The key to the recipe is having them come out crispy. The secret to crispiness I learned is using baking powder on the skin. The baking powder is slightly alkaline and this raises the chicken skin’s pH levels which allows proteins to break down more efficiently giving you crispier and more evenly browned results. The convection oven helps the browning process as well. Some recipes had no spices or flour and just aluminum-free baking powder (some people can detect a metallic taste if it is not used). I wanted maximum flavor and this seemed like the best option. Next time, I will try the aluminum-free (Rumford brand) type and use less flour and see if the crispiness improves. The chicken drumsticks were much better than I have ever made and they were crispy, just not as much as the deep-fried versions. Since all I had in my freezer were those six chicken drumsticks, I defrosted those and got down to business. I will include the original recipe with my notes beside it.
3 lbs chicken wings or drumettes, butter
Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
Prep: 10 mins • Cook: 30 mins • Total: 40 mins
Yield: 4-6 (depending on your eaters)
- 3 lbs chicken wings or drumettes (I used 2 lbs chicken drumsticks–6)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 t salt
- 2 t chili powder
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 2 T baking powder
- Bottled Cayenne Hot Sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees (convection worked well here)
- Prepare a large cookie sheet by covering with foil and spraying with cooking spray
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and seasonings. Add chicken and coat with flour mixture.
- Arrange chicken on the cookie sheet, at least an inch apart
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once after about 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, add about 1/2 c bottled hot sauce and a stick of butter (I used 1/4 c hot sauce and 1/2 stick for my chicken drumsticks). Heat on low and stir until butter is melted. Taste. If it needs more heat, add more sauce or Tabasco.
- Transfer baked chicken wings into a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the crispy baked chicken wings and toss to coat.
- Serve with celery and carrot sticks and a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping (I used Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing).