Tips For Juicy & Crispy Chicken Wings

GO FOR THE GOOD STUFF

You get what you pay for. While you are likely to find affordable wings at your local big box or warehouse store they won’t be as good as the ones from your local meat market or butcher. Also if you ask your local butcher nicely, they may pre-trim them for you.

TRIM THEM

Ever notice the wings you get at a restaurant don’t have the tips attached to them? Most packages of chicken wings come with the full wing. You can grill them whole, but they’re much easier to eat when they are broken down.

To trim:

  1. Lay each wing flat on a cutting board
  2. Slice through the two knobby joints with a chef’s knife or cleaver (save the tips for stock).
  3. If you want to get real fancy, you can turn the drums into easy-to-hold lollipops by scraping the meat down half the bone into a ball at the opposite end.

DRY BRINE

This might be an unpopular opinion but wings are best when the skin is on and crispy. So save the breading and frying for other parts of the chicken. To obtain the perfect level of crispness, you can either blot the skin before seasoning or toss in baking powder and a generous amount of salt or a seasoned rub, and let rest overnight in the refrigerator. Make sure to add seasoning at every stage of the process, these suckers can take it. Choose a rub that has a good blend of spice and salt to ensure the skin is crisp and flavorful.

COOK A LITTLE LONGER

Most cuts of chicken are considered done when the internal temp reaches 165°. But wings need a little extra heat for the meat. Due to the high fat and skin ratio of wings, they are the one kind of meat that tastes better at a ‘well done’ level with crispy skin and drier meat, which may be in the 175-180° degree range.

GET SAUCY

If you want to add a sauce or glaze to your wings, then you will want to apply it during the last 15-30 minutes of cooking. Brush on your sauce or glaze, and put the lid back on or return to the oven and let the sauce caramelize on the wings. If you’re using a sweet sauce like a glaze or BBQ, you will need to keep a close eye on them to make sure the sauce does not char and burn.

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