Crispy baked chicken wings

I’m not the biggest American football fan (except… go Jets!). But I love Super Bowl parties. Because of the time difference, it’s a lot harder to justify hosting a party for a game that starts at 11pm (British time) on a Sunday. And it’s even worse when it’s hosted on the West Coast. Woe is me, I know.

Don’t worry about me, though. It is not going to stop me from feasting, especially since Super Bowl food is so good.

Im going to admit to enjoying some of the finer “junk” foods in life, including saucy wings and 7 layer dips. I’m also going to admit that I don’t have a deep fat fryer, and something about dumping that much oil into anything feels … expensive.

crispy baked chicken wings

So here’s a recipe for those of you who want wings but don’t want a vat of sizzling oil hanging around. Or for anyone who wants to feel a little more saintly by telling everyone these are baked chicken wings, rather than fried.

I learned the tip that makes this recipe from one of my favorite food celebs, Alton Brown. It’s clever, it’s easy and it works. Steam your wing pieces to render out the fat, making for crispy oven-baked skin. Don’t worry, you won’t dry them out, because the steaming helps with that, too.

It’s worth noting that the steamed wings must sit in the fridge for at least an hour to cool off and dry.

crispy baked chicken wings

Crispy baked chicken wings will be yours before you know it.

Since I find it hard to make a decision, I make 2 different sauces to keep it interesting. You can go any direction you want. Sweet sticky barbecue, lip-tingling spice, deep and smoky…

Well … on to the recipe.

Technique based on Alton Brown’s buffalo wings.


Serves 4

Crispy baked chicken wings

30 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

2 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

On the Counter

    Baked wings
  • 10 chicken wings, or 20 wing pieces
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp (about 50 g) butter
  • Honey chipotle wing sauce
  • 3 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • Hot wing sauce
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) cayenne sauce, like Frank's RedHot (my personal choice)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • salt to taste

What to Do

    Baked wings
  • If you're starting with full wings, segment them into 3 pieces, at the joints. You can save the wing tips for chicken stock, but you won't need them for this recipe.
  • Set water boiling in a steamer pot. Once the water is at a boil, place the wing pieces, in one layer, in the steamer. Cover. Steam them for 10 minutes, turn them over, and steam them for another 5-10 minutes to render out the fat.
  • Take pot off the heat, and carefully remove the wings. With paper towels, dry them and set them onto a cooling rack, sitting above a tray.
  • Refrigerate the steamed wings for at least 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make or prepare your wing sauce, or sauces.
  • Heat the oven to 200 C (390 F).
  • Cover a tray with foil, and lay out the wing pieces. Season them with salt and pepper.
  • Set the tray on the oven's middle rack and bake the wings for 15 minutes, skin side up. Flip them and roast for another 10 minutes. They should be at least 74 C (165 F) internally and the skin should be golden.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter and put it in a small bowl or jar.
  • Brush the chicken wings with butter, and then toss them in with the wings sauce or sauces.
  • Honey chipotle and hot wings sauces
  • In a medium bowl for each sauce, combine all the ingredients. If the sauce needs to be thinned out, add some water, 1 teaspoon at a time and stir it together.

If you want a veggie-friendly Super Bowl snack, why not try vegetarian nachos instead?

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