Chicken Wings

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Chicken Wings

Homemade Chicken Wings

Chicken wings make great appetizers and perfect finger food. They can be cooked hours in advance and kept warm until ready to serve. Salty, tangy, spicy, or packing some heat, chicken wings can be prepared an infinite number of ways including popular styles such as Southern style, Cajun spice, Jamaican jerk, hickory smoked BBQ, and Chinese sweet and sour. Chicken wings offer the home cook an opportunity to create new and exciting dishes.

As with most recipes, fresh, high-quality ingredients will always yield the best results. Chicken wings are available in most supermarkets and many butcher shops. The wings are sold whole, or cut into drumettes (the upper portion of the wing), and flats (the middle portion of the wing).

Chicken wings should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. We like to rinse our chicken wings in cold water, and pat them dry with paper towels. When we purchase whole wings, we cut the wing into three sections, cutting through the joints with a very sharp knife to produce drumettes and flats for use in our recipes, and wing tips, which we discard or save for soup stock preparation.

Once they are ready for cooking, a variety of cooking techniques can come into play to add flavor and texture. Wings can be prepared just as they are, or they can be brined, marinated, coated with a spice rub or paste, or tossed in a sauce. Or even a combination of these techniques. Chicken wings welcome the extra attention and respond in kind. You can enhance your dish by trying some fresh new flavors, perhaps representative of a local or international cuisine, or create something uniquely your own.

One of our favorite ways to prepare chicken wings is to start them soaking in buttermilk in the morning, pat them dry, toss in seasoned flour, let them rest for an hour or so in the refrigerator so the coating adheres, and then bake, grill, or fry them until crispy and golden. Once fully cooked we have the option to devour as they are or toss them in a complementary sauce for extra flavor.

Most of our chicken wing recipes call for the wings to be cut at the joints into two pieces for eating. 3 to 4 pounds of whole chicken wings or pieces is perfect for our recipes.

The majority of our seasoned flours, marinades, spice pastes, and sauces all benefit greatly from premium dried herbs and spices. Superior home cooking relies on building great flavor. Spend the money, use your dried herbs and spices regularly and replenish them often.

Here are several techniques for adding moisture, flavor, and crispiness to our chicken wings.

Brining Chicken

While we don’t usually brine chicken wings because they are so small, you certainly can. Brining chicken adds juiciness and flavor and requires very little effort.

Seasoned Flours

Seasoned flours are a favorite for coating the skin with some flavor before the wings are cooked. The flour mixtures also add crispiness to the finished dish. Chicken wings are tossed in flour mixes, placed in a single layer on a tray, and placed in the refrigerator for an hour. When ready to cook our wings, we remove the wings from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Or, at about the same time we turn the oven on to preheat, fire up the grill, or bring oil up to 350 degrees F.

Marinades and Pastes

Marinades and pastes are perfect for chicken wings.

We marinate chicken wings for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 24 hours. Marinades can add extraordinary flavor to the chicken and the chicken skin. Typically when we marinade chicken, we pat the chicken dry and proceed with cooking. Sometimes we will dust the chicken in seasoned flour after marinating. Marinades are great for preparing chicken to bake, grill, or deep-fry.

When we apply pastes to chicken wings, our intent is to coat the chicken generously with the paste, allow the chicken to rest for up to an hour in the refrigerator. We bake chicken wings that have pastes applied to them for best results.

chicken wings with sauce

chicken wings with sauce

Sauces

When we apply sauces to chicken wings, it is after the wings have been fully cooked. Some sauces are prepared well in advance of use, if the recipes are involved or if we want the flavors to blend for several hours or overnight. Some sauces are prepared while we are grilling, baking, or deep-frying.

7 Seasoned Flour Mixes

Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Cajun Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Tex-Mex Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Greek Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon toasted onion
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed Allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried scotch bonnet chile

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Moroccan Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Italian Seasoned Flour

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

7 Chicken Wing Marinades and Pastes

Marinades offer the opportunity to add incredible flavor to your favorite meats and vegetables. It only takes a few minutes to put together a marinade and a few seconds to apply it. Marinades are absorbed into your chicken breasts, steaks, seafood, chops, or vegetables in a matter of minutes or hours.

The flavor combinations are endless and allow for some serious culinary creativity to transpire. You can add some salt, sweet, heat, or tang along with your favorite herb and spices to create your own unique flavor profile, or recreate a seasoning mix from your favorite regional or international cuisine.

Marinades can be liquid and thin, or thick and paste like. There are no rules when creating marinades only some thought about what you are marinating, what sort of ingredients to pair them with, and how long to properly impart some flavor into your meats and vegetables.

Pacific Islands Marinade

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Directions
  1. Add soy sauce, pineapple juice, wine vinegar, brown sugar, grated fresh ginger, and garlic to small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Apply marinade up to 4 hours before baking or grilling.

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped scallion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried scotch bonnet chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions
  1. Add chopped scallion, garlic, dried thyme, sea salt, crushed allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, dried scotch bonnet pepper, fresh ground black pepper, soy sauce, and vegetable oil to blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Apply marinade up to 24 hours before cooking.

Greek Spice Paste

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Greek oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Directions
  1. Add Greek oregano, fresh ground black pepper, dried lemon peel, dried onion, dried parsley, garlic powder, and Greek yogurt to small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Apply paste up to 4 hours before baking or grilling.

Italian Chicken Wing Paste

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions
  1. Add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano, fresh ground black pepper, and minced garlic to small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Apply paste up to 2 hours before baking or grilling.

Moroccan Spice Paste

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Directions
  1. Add chopped onion, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, ground coriander, dried parsley, minced garlic, paprika, ground ginger, sea salt, cumin, and turmeric to blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Apply paste up to 24 hours before baking or grilling.

Tandoori Marinade

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 fresh lime, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions
  1. Add Greek yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, chopped onion, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, sugar, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Apply marinade up to 24 hours before cooking.

Thai Curry Paste

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated galangal
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kaffir lime zest
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 5 red bird’s eye Thai chilies, seeded

Directions
  1. Toast cumin seeds, coriander seeds in small sauté pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, grind toasted spices into fine powder. Add toasted cumin, toasted coriander, fresh ground black pepper, sea salt, grated galangal, finely chopped lemongrass, Kaffir lime zest, finely chopped shallot, crushed garlic, shrimp paste, and bird’s eye chili to mortar and pestle. Crush into paste.
  3. Apply paste up to 4 hours before baking or grilling.

7 Chicken Wing Sauces

Chicken wing sauces are perfect for adding flavor to your favorite chicken wing preparations. A simple sauce can be prepared and coating your hot, juicy wings in minutes. Most sauces can be created using items you have on hand including oil and butter, herbs and spices, and fruits and vegetables.

You will want to apply sauces after your wings have been deep-fried, and toward the end of baking, broiling or grilling. Many sauce preparations will burn too quickly if applied at the beginning of the cooking process.

Unless you want really soupy, messy chicken wings, apply sauces sparingly. Add your wings to a large bowl and toss them with a few tablespoons. Add sauce a tablespoon at a time to achieve a nice coating without excess. In many cases wings are cooked until the exterior surfaces are crispy. By being stingy with the sauce, you can add great flavor and keep your crispy texture.

Pacific Islands Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest

Directions
  1. Add crushed pineapple, red wine, orange juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, vegetable oil, minced garlic, minced fresh peeled ginger, and fresh lime zest to blender.
  2. Puree until smooth.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 6 green onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh peeled ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chile pepper, trimmed, seeded, and minced
  • 8 allspice berries, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

VERY HOT CHILE PEPPER. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the scotch bonnet pepper.

  1. Add peanut oil, fresh thyme, green onions, fresh peeled ginger, peeled garlic, chile pepper, crushed allspice, fresh ground black peppercorn, ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, soy sauce, tomato paste, dark brown sugar, and fresh lime juice to blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
  1. Add unsalted butter, hot pepper sauce, vinegar, and garlic powder to small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
  2. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

Argentinian Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions
  1. Add olive oil, sherry vinegar, flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano, chopped onion, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper, and sea salt to blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

Szechuan Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 3 red bird’s eye Thai whole red peppers, tops trimmed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions
  1. Heat saucepan over medium heat. Add sesame oil to saucepan. Stir in whole red chili peppers. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes to darken.
  2. Stir in finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and minced fresh peeled ginger. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes to soften onion. Stir frequently.
  3. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Bring to gentle boil. Simmer 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Stir in chili powder, vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha chili sauce, and sea salt.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Simmer several minutes to thicken sauce and blend flavors. Remove sauce from heat.
  6. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

Moroccan Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions
  1. Add the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, ground cumin, ground ginger, sea salt, fresh lime juice, and honey to blender. Blend until smooth on low speed. With the motor running, remove the top and gradually pour in the olive oil.
  2. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

Thai Curry Chicken Wing Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup crushed peanuts

Directions
  1. Add light coconut milk to small saucepan. Heat oven medium-high heat until gently boiling. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Stir in peanut butter, red curry paste, fish sauce, fresh lime juice, brown sugar, minced garlic. Simmer 10 minutes or until consistency of sauce will coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Stir in crushed peanuts.
  4. Toss baked, grilled or deep-fried chicken wings in sauce and serve.

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