Come Super Bowl Sunday, you’re stuck with the important life changing decision of where you’re going to watch the game. You can go to a crowded bar and down overpriced hot wings only to be left sucking for air because the waitress is too busy to refill your beer.
Or you can choose your friendships based on the whose house has the biggest tv and whether they have committed to providing awesome snacks.
Personally, the decision has come down to finding a place that actually has a place to sit. Here in LA, that pretty much means anywhere except a bar or restaurant.
And we have the biggest tv. Awright.
Now for the second most important decision of the day. Where do you get your wings?
A few places like Pizza Hut WingsStreet offer wings for delivery, but honestly, you’d have to pay an arm and a leg for the quantity you’re about to eat. We need those arms and legs for cheering. And beer drinking. Especially beer drinking.
Besides, EVERYONE will be ordering on Super Bowl Sunday. Expect your delivery to arrive about an hour after everyone gets full on chips and dip.
So what’s left? Store bought or cook your own chicken wings at home. Unless every grocery store within a 20 mile radius are sold out of chicken wings, I beg you to try cooking your own.
If you’re a little apprehensive because you’ve had greasy and fatty home cooked ones, don’t worry, these recipes will get you juicy chicken wings at home without a layer of chewy fat. If you’re hesitant because you don’t want a lot of work, I get it. I do. That’s why I’ve provided two options: the ultimate chicken wing recipe and an oven baked chicken wing recipe.
- 4 lb chicken wings, frozen (I recommend the large 10 lb Costco bag which sells for just under $20 or ~$2/lb)
- 1 cup Franks RedHot Sauce
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 3 quarts vegetable or peanut oil (canola has a smoke point of 400 F, which we will hit)
The sauce of choice for most people seems to be Franks Red Hot Sauce. Despite its popularity, a large bottle (enough for a few large recipes) will set you back $5-6. It seems to be a perfect level of heat for most people but for you spice lovers, you may feel their Original blend to be a bit lacking.
When you’re ready about ready to serve, heat the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan on medium heat until the butter has completely melted, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce into a bowl large enough to toss the chicken wings and sauce together.
The Ultimate Chicken Wings at Home Recipe
It turns out, chicken wings are a little like French fries. Cook them hot and fast and you’ll end up with too much crust and not enough texture. Double fry them, however, and you’re sure to get a crisp texture that just falls off the bone.
Start off with heating oil in a large pot on medium to high heat to 220 F. For best results, use a thermometer that you can leave in the oil like this one, otherwise, use a <digital pocket thermometer and check the temperature often.
Using tongs or a spider, gently lower the chicken wings in and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom. Don’t worry about overcrowding the pot. As long as you bring the temperature back up to 220 as quickly as possible and keep it there, they’ll cook just fine.
Check temperature several times in the first few minutes, after which point the temperature will stabilize and you’ll only need to adjust it slightly every so often.
This step needs to be long enough that the chicken gets cooked and it’s cooked long enough to get tender. If you pull them out too soon, they’ll be tough (even if their internal temperature says they’re done). Think of this as a stew with the added benefit that a low temperature fry won’t result in any significant moisture loss and a dry chicken wing (whereas oven baking for a long time definitely will.)
After 25 minutes, remove the chicken wings with tongs or a spider and let them cool on paper towels. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet and let them rest in the refrigerator or freezer for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
The point of this step is to let them cool. The added benefit here is that you can make them ahead and quickly finish them off on game day. Bonus!
Bring the oil back up to 400 F and fry in small batches just until golden brown, about 2 minutes. We’re reheating the chicken wings and giving them a nice crispy crust, not trying to cook them through. If you fry for much longer, you’ll get crispy critters instead of wings.
Dry briefly on paper towels then toss in the hot sauce to coat. Serve immediately and with lots of napkins.
The Oven Baked Chicken Wing Recipe
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set in a wire rack on top.
If you don’t use foil, you’ll be stuck (hah get it?) with burnt stuck on chicken bits. No one wants that.
If you use a flat rim-less baking sheet, your oven will be left with burnt stuck on chicken bits that will probably stay there until your landlord forces you to do a deep clean on move out day so you can get back your security deposit. Spoiler alert: you won’t get it all back. Ever.
Space the chicken wings out on the baking rack and bake at 375 F for 50 minutes. At this point, you may be thinking you should add an extra 10 minutes to get a better golden crust. Resist. You’ll get that in the next step. Another 10 minutes will just dry them out.
Remove the chicken wings from the oven and switch the oven to the broiler on High. Broil for 2 minutes, take them out and flip them over, and broil for 2 more minutes at which point they’ll be golden brown.
The worst thing you can do while broiling is pretty much anything except stand there and stare at the timer. If you’re anything like me, if you so much as talk to someone or wash a single plate, you risk burning it. I have tossed many a crostini for this reason. Poor, poor crostini.
Toss in the hot sauce to coat. Serve immediately and with lots of napkins.
Recipe adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats.