Introduction: Chicken Wings Without the Deep-Fry, Method 1 of 2

I'm a wing freak. One of my biggest dreams is to take a drive to Buffalo so I can sample wings from the birthplace of the phenomenon. As a result, I've worked hard to find out how to make the lovely things at home for myself.

While I do have a deep fryer, there are two reasons why I don't like to use it often. One is that it is unhealthy to eat a lot of deep-fried foods, though every once in while isn't so bad. The other, though, is that it's an ordeal to break out the equipment, fill it up with a ton of oil, cook up the wings, then break it all down after it's cooled, clean it up, and stow it away again. The non-food related parts of the process take ten times as long as the actual meal. With this in mind, I have experimented with alternative methods of cooking my beloved wings that don't involve deep-frying. This is the first of two Instructables, each of which will describe a different process I've worked out.

Method One involves cooking the wings, lightly coated in oil and flour, in a very hot oven. The result is a nice, golden, and crunchy wing, without all the bother of the deep-fryer. Let's hop to it, shall we?

(Special thanks to randofo for the front page feature.)

The ingredients list:

Thawed chicken wings (I used 14 for this Instructable)
Light olive oil (or any other choice, really)
Flour

For the sauce:

Frank's Red Hot
Butter
Sugar

For hardware:

A bowl with a lid for tossing
A spatula (rubber or silicone)
A cookie sheet
Some foil (optional)

EDIT: I just wanted to add here that I have an Instructable up for what I think is a pretty darn good roasted garlic wing sauce. Also, I posted a video of me making wings with a slightly different method, and yet a different idea for the sauce.

Step 1: Billy, Don't Be a Tosser...

The first step is to coat the wings in a bit of light olive oil, then flour. I do this in two stages.

First, place your thawed wings, patted dry, into your bowl with a lid, hereafter known as the "toss pot." Pour in a small amount of light olive oil (or any oil of your choice, really), put on the lid, and give them a thorough tossing. Then, remove the lid, pour in some flour, enough to give the wings a good coating, and then give them yet another thorough tossing.

At this point, you could then add spices to our newly-made sticky batter coating. If you can toss for a third time in a row, however, you're a greater man than I.

The pictures below tell the tale.

UPDATE: I recently discovered that these wings will actually come out better if you omit the oil and toss only in the flour and then bake at 425F for 40 minutes. Really, it's up to you which method you want to use, but I've taken to this new method.

Step 2: How to Be a Master Baker

Preheat your oven to 450F, and place your oven rack as close to the heat source as possible. The theory here is that we do NOT want the wings stewing in their own juices. We want to drive that moisture off so they fry instead. Because they're small, the wings cook through before they burn on the outside.

Next, place the wings skin side up on your (optionally foiled) cookie sheet. I sprayed the foil on mine with no-stick spray, and they still stuck, so be careful here. Once the oven is heated up, place the sheet on that lower oven rack.

Times will vary depending on a variety of factors. Just look for a nice golden brown color. It'll take about 20 or so minutes, on average. If the tops of the wings aren't colored enough for you, place the cookie sheet under the broiler for a few minutes. Don't walk away from them if you do that, though.

Again, the pictures below tell the tale.

Step 3: The Sauce of All Evil

Now, we have many saucing options, which I'll discuss in a later step. For this Instructable, we'll construct a hot sauce of my own design, inspired by the Red-Hot Dog sauce from days of yore. It's really good, and extremely simple to make.

Take a good sauce pot, pour in about twice as much Frank's Red Hot sauce you think it would take to coat your batch of wings. Then put in some butter (about 1/4 stick per cup of sauce as a guideline), then some sugar, just enough to take the edge off. Simmer this mixture until it reduces by about half. The final result will be a thick, sticky sauce that will go well with the wings.

To coat, I clean up my toss pot that I used before, put the now-cooked wings in, pour in the sauce, and give them another good tossing. Plate and eat!

The pictures below... Oh, never mind.

Step 4: The Open-Sauce Foundation

There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of sauce options for your wings. You can use store-bought wing sauces if you'd like. My other favorite is to toss them in Cattleman's or Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, or, on occasion, my own homemade barbecue sauce, but that's another Instructable. The sky is the limit.

For dipping options, I generally like ranch or bleu cheese dressing, the traditional dips, when I decide to dip. Most of the time, though, I'm not feeling dippy, so I don't.

Enjoy! Homemade Wings Process #2 should be coming in the near future.

Comments

author
ihcTactics made it!(author)2012-03-29

So the thoughts I've seen so far from others are: [***1] Cornstarch added to the flour - adds crunch [How much should I add?]  [***2] Steam the chicken before putting in oven - less smoke from fat [***3] Soaking chicken in milk for an hour before flouring - moister chicken [***4] No oil, about 40 minutes in the oven - just better ==== I DEFINITELY need to give these a try. I made an account just to say thanks for my first recipe I'm going to try from Instructables!

author
Thomas+Toterhi made it!(author)2012-01-29

I just finished making + eating these. They were amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! :D

author
sbrierley made it!(author)2011-08-31

Try soaking the wings in milk or butter milk for an hour before you toss them in the cornflour. you'll get amazingly moist chicken :)

author
cdriedger made it!(author)2011-05-05

I tried a trick I learned which works with baking bacon in the oven. You place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet and then place the bacon (or the wings) on the wire rack. Then the grease drips down onto the cookie sheet and the bacon, or in this case, the wings get nice and crispy without sitting in their grease.
Tried the wings this afternoon using the wire rack on the cookie sheet, and they turned out perfect! Crispy, but not greasy. Since there isn't much wing touching the wire rack, they don't stick much either. They were very easy to get off the rack.

Highly recommend this technique.

author
hjennings23 made it!(author)2011-01-16

The no-fry method is great for those of us that don't want to have to fry the wings! As we speak, I'm gathering my ingredients to make a batch of these!

author
vandal1138 made it!(author)2010-09-28

Franks has a "buffalo" style sauce which is just plain ol amazing franks with buttery goodness added. It's great on pizza..... Or wings as so intended!

author
Radiant+Creator made it!(author)2008-06-17

Bleu cheese?

author
amplex made it!(author)2010-08-07

God those look awesome. Thanks for the methodology, will be trying this, have the ingredients ready to go!

author
bellazygote made it!(author)2009-07-09

Try adding in some cornstarch with the flour for some added crunch!

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2009-08-25

Hey, good idea. I'll definitely try that my next go-around. To be honest, I've stopped using the oil in the tossing of the wings before cooking. I just toss in straight flour plus some seasoned salt now. I should update this Instructable a bit.

author
jwoerner made it!(author)2009-08-11

excellent wings my man... family enjoyed them they thought i fried them.. lol:)

author
alexisgig made it!(author)2009-01-29

We tried your cooking method and made the best wings we ever tasted! Great! To had a bit of fire, we added a couple of Blair's sudden Death sauce to the Frank's sauce! Hotttt....!!!!

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2009-02-21

Thank you! I've actually recently discovered that you don't really need to toss in the oil and flour both. You can toss just in flour and then bake, as long as you bake hot (425F) and for about 40 minutes. It won't be nearly as smoky as Alton says.

author
Gjdj3 made it!(author)2008-05-26

That looks really good, and probably healthier, than deep fried. 5 Star Rating!

author
aaahchuu made it!(author)2008-05-16

Reynolds makes a non-stick foil.

author
bkohler made it!(author)2008-05-06

what ever happened to Method 2 of 2?

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2008-05-11

It's coming soon, sorry! It has similarities to crestind's Coca Cola Chicken recipe, so I haven't given it a high-priority. It's different enough that I'll definitely post it, though. For one thing, mine doesn't use any cola. ;-)

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2008-05-08

franks red hot is the best

author
SpinWard made it!(author)2008-03-10

step 2 How to Be a Master Baker lol, Master Baker, ah-haha

author
matthewabel made it!(author)2008-03-01

I love hot wings. This is similar to the method I use. I think they are just a good as a deep-fried wing with the same sauce.

author
geppettony made it!(author)2008-02-25

great alternative I'm from buffalo and always looking for a change, the old deep fryer looks quite gross after a while. franks hot sauce is the key to "buffalo wings" your sauce is a great standard. my wife has made a boneless and skinless option for me in the oven, for i'm on weight watchers...too many wings in my day..haha

author
Minibrains made it!(author)2008-02-23

In college I worked as the 'wing guy', we cooked our wings in a giant pressure cooker. A decent alternative to the deep fryer.

author
Murphys_Lawyer made it!(author)2008-02-16

Alton Brown did wings on recent show. He steamed the wings first to get some of the fat rendered out, that way when they go in the oven, it doesn't create a butt-load of smoke.

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2008-02-20

You know, I looked up Alton's recipe, and decided to alter my process today based on a few of his ideas, and I decided I like the results better. So I think I'll be updating this Instructable with some alternatives for folks to try. Thanks for the heads-up on this episode. I don't have cable anymore, so I missed it.

author
autolycos made it!(author)2008-02-20

Technically what you're talking about with oven frying is a process known as roasting. When they stew in the oven, it's a braise.

author
stratholm made it!(author)2008-02-19

You may think the best place to get wings is in Buffalo because that's where they were invented but the best place I've found (being a resident of 24 years) is in Rochester NY about 60 miles east of Buffalo. There's a place called Jeremiah's there and they have repeatedly won the Best Wings award over the place in Buffalo and I have to agree having samples both. Buffalo sauce made from scratch... mmmm.... getting hungry just thinking about it.

author
SpinWard made it!(author)2008-02-17

OH...MY...GOSH! These were great. I made them tonight! It's encouraging when you can cook something and it looks like the picture! They were crispy and juicy. I'm a big sissy about spicy food (and I'm okay with that) so I used the taquelia/lime marinade. Good zing without the hot! We had some just plain with seasoning in the flour and they were good too!! Thank you for such a great idea! I hate messing with all the oil too!!

author
bakenbitz made it!(author)2008-02-16

mmm I love wings. My dad has his own sauce recipe that is delicious, anyone who has had it thinks its the best they've had. We deep-fry ours, we have a deep-fryer in our garage, so we don't have to take it out, clean it and fill it up. We change the oil every now and then though. Next time we make them, I'm going to try this.

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2008-02-16

I won't say this oven method tastes as good as a good deep-fry, but it is pretty close, I think, once you get all that richly-flavored sauce on them. I would like to have a permanent deep-fry station, but space just doesn't allow it for me at the moment. The really fun part is that I was eating those very wings on that plate as I wrote this Instructable. :)

author
dmlandrum made it!(author)2008-02-15

Well, I live in Port Huron, so a quick jaunt through Canada wouldn't take TOO long. ;-)

author
xrobevansx made it!(author)2008-02-15

I have a GREAT grilled wing recipe. If you want it email me!

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Bio: I was born in 1976 in the town of Atascadero, California, which translates to "mud hole." It's an apt description, believe me. It was ... More »
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