Seriously crispy and coated with a sweet and spicy Sriracha-honey glaze, these oven-baked wings rival fried ones any day. This is game day food done right.
I’m pretty sure you haven’t come to a site called “Nerds with Knives” expecting sports talk because we are not sporty people. Any yelling and screaming you might hear from our house on a late Sunday afternoon is more likely to be about the crossword puzzle than the N.F.L. – and, just an aside to Will Shortz at the New York Times, there had better not be too many sports related questions or these two bespectacled nerds will not be happy.
But just because we don’t know a touchdown from a layup doesn’t mean we don’t know game day snacks. That, we have covered.
Truly crispy wings with a sticky, sweet and spicy glaze. And the best part? They’re baked, not fried.
Not that I have anything against frying but let’s be honest, health factors aside, it’s messy and annoying to do with a houseful of hungry guests.
This oven-frying method from our friends at Serious Eats delivers real crunch without having to heat up several quarts of oil. The key lies in a surprise ingredient: baking powder.
Not to get too sciency on you but baking powder raises the pH of the chicken skin which promotes browning and helps the skin dry. And air-drying is the other factor here. We use this same method to get ultra-crispy skin on roast chicken, turkey and duck and it works beautifully, just as it does with the wings.
Once the wings are tossed with the salt and baking powder, they need to rest on a rack set in a baking tray for at least 8 hours, preferably a full day. Make sure to give them enough room, you don’t want them touching each other to allow them to dry as much as possible. Really, the hardest part of this method is finding room in the refrigerator for all the wings you’re going to be drying.
One warning: when you pull them out of the fridge they’re going to look like scary, desiccated death-nubbins but don’t panic! Less than an hour in a very hot oven is going to turn them into golden brown, incredibly crispy little delights.
While the wings are baking (or up to a day ahead), you can make the glaze. Oh man, this glaze is so good. We drizzled the extra on a breakfast plate of rice, eggs and avocado. Holy moly, it was amazing.
While I like classic Buffalo wings (a mix of Frank’s Hot Sauce and butter is never going to be bad, right?), we wanted to do something a little different.
To the butter, Sriracha and honey, we added fresh garlic, some ketchup for body and a little lime juice, soy and fish sauce. This gives a simple glaze a lot of complexity: it’s sweet, spicy, tart, savory and salty. And of course, has that sticky texture that is so good on wings.
My suggestion: make a lot and have lots of napkins handy. And go sports! Score some points or something! We don’t know! We’re just nerds.
- 2½ pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 6 tablespoons Sriracha
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Quartered limes
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Scallions. thinly sliced
- Crinkle up a large piece of aluminum foil and then flatten it a bit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with the crinkly foil and set rack inside. Carefully dry chicken wings as best you can with paper towels. Place ⅓ of wings in large bowl, sprinkle with teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt, and toss until thoroughly and evenly coated. Place on rack, leaving slight space between each wing. Repeat with remaining two batches of wings. Place baking sheet with wings in refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, overnight (at least 8 hours, and up to 18 hours).
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Add chicken wings and cook for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes longer.
- To make the glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in honey, Sriracha, ketchup, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- When wings are brown, brush them all over with the glaze. Make sure they’re fully coated. Turn on broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes until bubbly and charred in spots. Watch carefully because they will darken quickly.