Lightly battered chicken wings are worth making at home.
How many ways can you have chicken wings these days? Too many flavors to count, so I’m focused on getting a good, traditional-flavored wing that you can make at home. Sure, it’s easy to pick up wings, but they really are best fresh from the fryer and lightly battered. I’ve tried grilling, baking and breading (with a Hooters-style heavy coating), but twice-fried in a light batter seems to yield the best results. I even used to make my own sauce from scratch, but there are so many good in-store options that it’s not really necessary anymore. Louisiana brand sauce is a good choice for a traditional wing sauce. This recipe has less to do with the sauce and more to do with the coating and cooking technique.
For us, we normally only use wingettes when cooking wings. I like these because there is a technique where you can twist the end of the wings to easily remove the bones and then dip and eat the wing in one or two unimpeded bites. I’m not a big fan of the drumettes, though they do make an appearance in the attached photos.
- 1 1/2 pounds of chicken wings (wingettes, drumettes, or whole and split)
- 1/2 bottle of Louisiana brand chicken wing sauce
- 3 celery sticks, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 3 carrots, cut into 2-3 inch pieces or use baby carrots
- Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing
For the Batter:
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 quarts peanut oil (can use vegetable oil)
- Add oil to Dutch oven until it measures 2 inches deep (or use a fryer) and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
- Whisk 1 cup of cornstarch, water, pepper, and salt together until smooth.
- Place remaining 1/2 cup of cornstarch into medium bowl. Coat chicken wings thoroughly with cornstarch, shaking to remove excess.
- Whisk batter to recombine and transfer half of the wings to batter to coat. Remove wings allowing excess to drip back into bowl, and add wings to oil.
- Fry until lightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Chicken will not be cooked through at this point.
- Transfer parcooked chicken to a plate/platter. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining wings for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Return oil to 350 and add first batch of wings back to oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Toss chicken in sauce and serve immediately with celery and carrots.
While I’m not a fan of having too many flavors when it comes to wings, I do sometimes stray from the traditional wing sauce. My second option is to mix 3/4 cup of honey with 2 tablespoons of Louisiana hot sauce. This works well with any fried chicken, be it wings or chicken breasts.
Source: the cooking technique came from America’s Test Kitchen.