How to cook chicken wings

How to cook chicken wings

Chicken wings are a versatile, affordable and easy to cook part of the chicken; they’re useful for adding base flavour to stocks and soups, they can form the foundation of a snack and they can step up as an important element of a larger meal. They are naturally high in fat thanks to their high skin to meat ratio, which means they stay succulent even when cooked for long periods of time - it’s very hard to overcook a chicken wing.

What to look for when buying chicken wings

As with all meat, we recommend buying the highest quality possible. Higher welfare meat will have a better flavour, and will have been reared to higher standards. It’s always worth looking out for breeds such as Bresse and making the most of a more expensive bird by using it over several meals, reserving the bones for stock. Roasting a batch of chicken wings is a great way to add a rich, base flavour to a chicken stock or soup.

How do you joint chicken wings?

Chicken wings are often served jointed, which means the tips have been removed (these can be frozen for using in stock) and the remaining portion is separated into two pieces, known as the ‘drum’ and the ‘flat’. To joint your wings, place the wing bony-side-up on a chopping board, and locate the two joints - one in the middle and one near the end of the wing. You can now cut through the joints using either a pair of kitchen shears, a cleaver or a solid knife.

How to deep fry chicken wings

A plate of crunchy, deep fried chicken wings glazed in a sticky sauce is hard to resist. Wings can be given a dry rub, marinated using a combination of wet and dry ingredients or battered before cooking. You don’t need a deep fat fryer to cook chicken wings, but it’s important to use a high-sided saucepan and not over fill it with oil. Check out our guide to deep frying without a deep fat fryer below, to ensure you stay safe.

How to make crispy chicken wings in the oven

Is it possible to make crispy chicken wings without a deep fat fryer? Absolutely. Follow the simple steps below to achieve a crisp, golden exterior to your wings using an oven-cooked method.

Ingredients

1

Combine the bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl large enough to hold the wings. Add the wings and toss well to ensure they’re evenly coated

2

Set a wire rack (ideally oven proof) over a baking sheet and arrange the wings on top, ensuring they don’t touch each other. Transfer to the fridge - uncovered - to rest, ideally overnight, or for at least three hours

3

The next day, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7

4

If your rack is ovenproof, the wings can be transferred straight to the oven. If not, brush a clean baking tray with a little oil and arrange the wings on top, ensuring they don’t touch one another

5

Cook the wings for 40 minutes, turning halfway through. Toss with your chosen sauce, before serving immediately

How make Korean fried chicken wings

Korean fried chicken wings are known for their crisp exterior and sweet-sticky glaze made with fiery gochujang paste. Their unique crunchy coating comes from double frying the wings - try Judy Joo’s ultimate recipe for perfect KFC at home.

How to make buffalo wings

Buffalo wings - named after Buffalo, New York - are enduringly popular thanks to their crunchy exterior and tangy, spicy sauce, which is usually made from a combination of hot sauce and butter. They are traditionally served with a cooling blue cheese dip and celery sticks.

How to BBQ chicken wings

Chicken wings are very fatty, which means they can be cooked for a long time on the BBQ without drying out. To get the best results - meaning a crispy exterior with well cooked fat and succulent meat, it’s best to cook them next to, rather than directly over, the heat source. This also prevents burning due to fat flare ups. What follows is a basic method for cooking chicken wings; feel free to add a marinade, rub or sauce.

Ingredients

1

Light a barbecue for indirect cooking, with the coals positioned in the centre and a clear ring around the outside

2

Once the barbecue is ready, toss the chicken wings with the salt and arrange them in a ring around the outside of the coals so that they are close to the heat, but not directly over the top

3

Cook the wings for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally and moving inwards if necessary, as the coals burn down

4

Toss with your chosen sauce to serve

Saucy inspo

Sticky fingers are all part of the wing-eating experience, and there are plenty of directions to take when it comes to glazing. Chef Mark Dodson glazes his sticky wings with soy, honey and five spice, while Leyla Kazim smothers hers in smoky chipotle paste and serves them with a side of sour creamed corn.

How to cook chicken wings sous vide

Cooking sous vide means cooking the wings at a low temperature over a long time, which keeps them tender, cooking them gently in their own fat. Flavours can be introduced to the bag along with the wings, such as chilli, herbs, citrus or spices.