Since being introduced to this delicious appetizer/main dish I haven’t quite decided if our family likes it as an appetizer or as a main dish. I think it actually depends on how many wings I make. If they fill up on wings… it was a main dish. If they are still hungry after they eat them all then it was definitely only an appetizer. My family loves buffalo wings and they love them with a myriad of different sauces. But in the long run they love the wings because they are neither dried out not too rubbery. That skin can get awfully chewy if you drown it in too much sauce too soon. So…. this is the way we do wings at our house.
Let’s say here that I love having a meat thermometer. It makes me feel all safe and secure when I am feeding wings to the masses. I cook the winglets (love that word) until the center is at 165°. From there I keep an eye on the skin until I see it at a dark golden brown. This can be accomplished in the oven, in a deep fryer or, my newest favorite kitchen appliance, an air fryer. This is ending up a little backwards but I wanted to get that whole inner chicken temperature out of the way.
I like to buy my winglets fresh. I’ve done them from a frozen state and they work fine too, I just prefer the fresh winglets.
These lucky dudes are about to become delicious. Take them from the package, give them a rinse to give them a fresh start and them pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them out on a plate and give them a shake with your favorite seasoning. Around here we like to use McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning. Below my wings are hanging out in the basket of my air fryer. It’s awesome. I have to say that whenever I fry large batches of anything–be it fries or wings I usually work outside, so I took my fryer to the garage when the aroma of chicken wings frying could drive my dog insane.
Okay– if you are going to cook yours in the oven you will want to line a baking sheet with foil, shake on your spices and bake them in a 400° for about 40-45 minutes. Make sure they aren’t pink or better yet test them with a thermometer. If you are going to fry them in delicious oil you have choices. You can deep fry them (which I love to do) or pan fry (which I think gets pretty messy). Either way you want your oil to heat to about 375° and you are going to fry them for about 12-15 minutes, turning them and watching for that perfect color and doneness. They will need to be turned in order to achieve an even browning. Now we have arrived at why I love my air fryer. I shake those spices on. I stick them in the fryer and set the timer for about 18 minutes. I walk away and don’t think about them for another 10 minutes. I go back and turn them over and forget about them again. I guess it just depends how interactive you want to be with your wings on any given day. Make no mistake–I love hanging out by the oil vat in my cute apron wielding a pair of metal tongs and fussing over my wings, but I love the carefree nature of the oil fryer. I guess it depends on how busy I am at the moment. I’m so lucky to have choices! You don’t need an air fryer to make these, they turn out great any way you make them!
However you decide to cook your winglets, when you have them cooled only slightly, toss them in a plastic bag and add 1/4 cup of buffalo sauce or sweet and spicy wing sauce and toss them around to coat them. I find that 1/4 cup of sauce will easily cover 15-20 wings this way.
Now… this is where I develop an attitude. About now when I look at my wings they look a little pasty and the skin looks a little, well, flubbery. I am against flubbery wing and so…. this is where I put them on a baking sheet or back in my air fryer for about 3-4 minutes or until the lightly covered wings have literally had that delicious sauce baked right in to them, no burning. Don’t throw them in your oil fryer.. I don’t think I need to explain 🙂
This is how they turn out! Beautifully coated, speckled with seasoning and ready to drench in additional buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, sweet wing sauce….. it doesn’t matter, they are ready to party!
- Chicken Wings (winglets)
- McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, or your favorite seasoning spice
- Buffalo Sauce
- Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
- Sprinkle with McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Fry, or bake according to your preference, until the inside of the chicken reaches 165° and the outside of the wing is a dark golden brown.
- Place in a bowl or plastic bag once they have cooled only slightly.
- Add ¼ cup your favorite buffalo sauce to the bag of cooked wings and toss to coat. I find that ¼ cup of sauce will cover 15-20 wings the way I want them coated for the second round in the oven.
- Lay coated wings on a baking sheet covered with foil.
- Bake at 350° for 3-5 minutes until the sauce bakes into the wings.
- Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite sauces.