Chicken wings don’t have to be a guilty pleasure. I’ve found that baking them is as delish as deep frying, and far more heart-healthy (not to mention less messy).
You can take the easy-peasy route and simply make a batch of basic wings and then serve a variety of dipping sauces on the side. Or you can go a bit more fancy and flavorful by tossing them in one of the sauces below near the end of the cooking time. I usually serve with a platter of raw, cold veggies.
Variations: Recipes for my basic wings and two favorite flavors are below: Buffalo and Ginger-Soy. You can toss the wings in a multitude of sauces of your choosing and finish in the oven. Oil based salad dressings are a good option. Stay away from cream-based sauces as they will burn; offer them for dipping instead (ranch and bleu cheese are a favorite). An easy way to create your own dipping sauces is to start with a base of 1/4 cup sour cream and simply stir in herbs and spices of your choosing.
Basic Wing Ingredients:
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt (I like to use garlic salt)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional: 1 tablespoon thyme, oregano, rosemary or other dried herbs
Basic Wing Directions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Make sure wings are fully thawed if bought frozen and brought to room temperature. Blot dry with paper towels.
- Toss wings in oil and spices until all pieces are well-coated.
- Spread in a single layer onto tin-foil lined baking sheets.
- Bake 45 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
- This is where you pull them out to toss with sauces until fully coated. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees, return to the baking sheets and put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
- If you want to stick with the basic recipe and offer a variety of sauces, then just continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned and crispy.
Serves 4 -6 as appetizers; 2 for lunch.
Buffalo Sauce (for approximately 1 lb. of wings)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it)
- Combine ingredients and toss wings until all pieces are fully covered in sauce.
- Return wings to baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.
You can also simply mix a tablespoon of hot sauce into 1/4 cup of sour cream for a spicy side to go with basic wings.
Ginger-Soy Sauce (for approximately 1 lb. of wings)
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 finely diced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely diced ginger or ginger paste (I buy it in the veggie section in a tube)
- Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer approximately 5 minutes until reduced by about half and thickened.
- Toss wings until all pieces are fully covered in sauce.
- Return wings to baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes.