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Foolproof oven baked chicken wings: sticky or dry rub

Crispy, sweet lemon-ginger wings are foolproof!
Crispy, sweet lemon-ginger wings are foolproof!

What could be better eats than a perfectly cooked chicken wing? It’s a party pleaser!

Whether you like your wings glazed with sticky sauce or crispy-crunchy with baked-on dry spices, the foolproof technique to cook the wings is the same. Use a rack, an essential kitchen tool.

Like pictures? Be sure to check out the slides attached for the visual recipe for the perfect tailgate wings.

Foolproof Oven Baked Chicken Wings

Serves 2 as a main dish or more for hors d’oeuvres

Game day Tip: Can be made ahead and reheated uncovered, in a warm oven or the cool side of your grill


· 1 lb. chicken wings, separated at joints, tips discarded

· 1 tbs. kosher salt

· 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper


1. Wash and thoroughly dry your separated chicken wings and place in large bowl. Toss with salt and pepper to coat evenly.

2. Place a kitchen rack over a sheet pan lined with foil, adding your wings down in a single layer.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

4. Preheat your oven to 425’.

5. Remove tray of wings from your refrigerator and roast for 40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.

For plain seasoned wings:

· Bake for 4 more minutes, turning once more halfway through the cooking process or until your wings are brown and crispy.

· Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

For sticky sauce wings: Try our Lemony-Ginger foolproof wings

· After your initial 40 minutes of cooking, remove wings to a clean bowl and toss with your ½ cup of your favorite sauce. Add back to rack and cook for 4 more minutes, turning once midway through the cooking process.

· Serve with extra dipping sauce.

Essential kitchen tools
Essential kitchen tools sgs

Essential kitchen tools

Want to know the secret of foolproof oven-baked chicken wings? Use a kitchen rack and sheet pan to prepare and bake them off. We like the non-stick variety, but you can always coat your rack with a bit of oil so your wings won't stick.

Chicken wings in the store
Chicken wings in the store sgs

Chicken wings in the store

Right around game day, chicken wings go on sale. While we always prefer the natural variety, they are often hard to come by.

For an easier and faster way to prepare your wings, purchase "wingettes" or chicken wings already broken down into bite-size pieces.

Seasoning chicken wings
Seasoning chicken wings sgs

Seasoning chicken wings

After washing and thoroughly drying your wings, season with salt and pepper. You can also alter this step by using a pre mixed pouch of blended seasoning, however if you do this, omit the salt and pepper since invariably those pouches will contain them.

Toss to coat evenly.

One layer of chicken wings
One layer of chicken wings sgs

One layer of chicken wings

Next step in your foolproof oven baked chicken wing recipe: lay your seasoned wings on top of your essential kitchen tool, a rack. Place on top of a lined sheet pan for easy clean up.

Refrigerate your wings
Refrigerate your wings sgs

Refrigerate your wings

Here's a step you might not think of, a quick dry and chill in your refrigerator. All you need is 30 minutes, but you can chill the wings for up to 2 hours. After that, the salt might "cook" your wings and produce a dry end product.

Spice aisle
Spice aisle sgs

Spice aisle

The spice aisle is your friend! Look at all the possibilities you can concoct. Try different flavors. Experiment. Or go for the tried and true.

Looking for suggestions? Here are some:

1. McCormick’s Grill Mate’s slow & low Tennessee Smokehouse (or any of your favorite flavor pouch); serve with barbecue dipping sauce

2. ½ tsp. each: garlic and onion powders; ¼ tsp. each paprika and cayenne for spice; serve with honey mustard dipping sauce

3. Omit salt and pepper; add 2 tbs. Madras curry powder, ¼ tsp. ginger powder, ¼ tsp. dry coriander; serve with mango chutney dipping sauce

4. 1 tsp. ginger powder, ¼ tsp. 5-spice powder, ½ tsp. granulated garlic powder; serve with Teriyaki dipping sauce

5. Omit salt and pepper; add 1 packet of taco seasoning; serve with Buffalo dipping sauce (1 stick melted butter with ½ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce, blended)

Seasoning mix
Seasoning mix sgs

Seasoning mix

The spice aisle is your friend. Get to know what's going on there! Sure, you could use a common BBQ or smokehouse blend, but why not try something different?

Repurpose General Tso's seasoning mix and use as your dry rub. When your wings are cooked, pass along some Sweet and Sour or Duck sauce for dipping.

425' is the perfect roasting temp
425' is the perfect roasting temp sgs

425' is the perfect roasting temp

What is the perfect roasting temperature for foolproof oven-baked chicken wings that will come out crispy? 425'.

Convection ovens circulate the heat, which we like when roasting our wings, but don't fret if you don't have this option. Your wings will still be delicious.

Cooked but not sauced wings
Cooked but not sauced wings sgs

Cooked but not sauced wings

After 40 minutes in your 425' oven (turning once after 20 minutes), your wings will be fully cooked and crunchy. But this is only the beginning...

Sauce it up!

Lemon curd is an overlooked pantry item
Lemon curd is an overlooked pantry item sgs

Lemon curd is an overlooked pantry item

Don't overlook lemon curd when pulling together a sticky-gooey sauce for your chicken wings. With just the right amount of tart and sweet, lemon curd is a great item in savory dishes.

Fresh ginger and garlic
Fresh ginger and garlic sgs

Fresh ginger and garlic

Using your trusty box grater, pull together some fresh ginger and garlic from your pantry and blend with 1/4 cup lemon curd, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, some cayenne to taste and a good pinch of dry thyme. Those are the ingredients for delicious Lemon-ginger chicken wings.

Toss the wings in sauce
Toss the wings in sauce sgs

Toss the wings in sauce

After 40 minutes at 425' degrees in your oven, remove your crispy wings and toss in sauce to evenly coat. Place back on your kitchen rack and place in the oven for 4 more minutes to heat the sauce. You're almost done...

Major Grey's chutney
Major Grey's chutney sgs

Major Grey's chutney

Not into lemon or ginger? Love exotic Indian flavors?

Jams, jellies, chutney's and the like are fantastic sauces to use when making oven baked chicken wings. Add some additional flavors and spices to make it your own.

Clean out your pantry! Try mixing together what you've already got in your home.

Here's 10 suggestions. Mix together…

1. ½ cup Peter Luger’s steak sauce, ¼ cup honey. Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, hot sauce to taste

2. 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup honey, 2 tbs. grainy mustard, squeeze of sriracha sauce to taste

3. 2 tbs. grainy mustard, 1 tbs. Dijon mustard, ½ cup pure maple syrup or honey, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup mayonnaise

4. ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup hoisin sauce, ¼ cup pineapple juice, 2 tbs. ketchup, ¼ tsp. each fresh grated ginger and garlic

5. Juice of 1 lime, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tbs. molasses, 2 tbs. honey, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. chipotle powder, 1 tbs. granulated garlic

6. ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbs. tequila, ¼ tsp. cumin powder, ¼ tsp. chili powder, squeeze of fresh lime juice

7. ¼ cup fresh orange juice + some fresh zest, ½ tbs. Italian seasoning, ½ tbs. tomato paste, 1 tbs. olive oil

8. ½ cup lemon curd, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tsp. each fresh minced ginger and garlic, ½ tsp. dry thyme

9. ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup yellow mustard, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. granulated garlic, ¼ tsp. or more hot sauce

10. Juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup honey, 1 tbs. lemon pepper, 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic

Sauces sgs


There are so many sauces to be found in your local, Long Island grocery store, so why go for the tried and true all the time?

Check out the Asian aisle and pick up some spicy sriracha or thai sauce with overtones of lemongrass and thai basil.

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