The Best Recipe for Oven-Fried Buffalo Wings
Baked wings are quite similar to fried wings in taste, only that they are less messy.
A Buffalo wing is a chunk of skin-coated, bone-in chicken fat that is deep-fried and covered in mayo, blue cheese, and sour cream. It’s like putting several layers of fat on one another. Is it really going to make a difference if one of those fats is removed from the equation?
Now, I’m perfectly aware that anything other than deep-fried wings covered in a spicy sauce and butter combo can never be termed “Buffalo wings.” But hey! Who made the rules, let’s get creative with our cooking!
I tried several methods to see which one gives the best crust. I tried preheating the wings and also increasing the wings’ pH by adding baking powder. I discovered that treating the wings with baking powder made them more bubbling and blistering than the ones not treated with baking powder. Another benefit of treating with baking powder is that it helps absorb part of the protein-rich fluids when the chicken rests overnight. Just like in cake batter, it produces carbon dioxide gas as it heats, expanding the liquids into bubbles that are then naturally solidified by the oven’s heat. Furthermore, as is common knowledge, more bubbles equal more surface area which equals more crunch.
- 900g chicken wings (drums and flats)
- 10g baking powder
- 10g table salt
- 50g unsalted butter
- 60ml RedHot Sauce
- Blue cheese dressing, for serving
- Celery sticks for dressing
- Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Using toilet paper, thoroughly dry the chicken wings. Put wings in a large mixing bowl with baking powder and salt until they are evenly coated. Place each wing on the rack leaving a small space between them. Continue the same process with the remaining two batches.
- Refrigerate the baking sheets with the wings for about 8 to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450oF(230oC) with rack in upper-middle position. Cook the chicken wings for 20 minutes. Cook until the wings are crisp and golden brown, this usually takes 15-30 minutes, flipping a few times near the end.
- Next, in a saucepan, whisk together the butter and hot sauce and heat over medium heat until well combined. Put the wings and sauce in a bowl and combine thoroughly. Serve while hot with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
This recipe can easily be scaled up and down, i.e. for 1 pound of chicken wings we use 5g baking powder.