A few tricks guarantee oven-baked wings that are every bit as irresistible as the ones you get at the bar.
First, adding baking soda to the dry rub does something…science-y to the chicken skin that facilitates extra crispiness. And starting the wings at a low temperature before blasting them with high heat helps to render out some of the fat from the skin as well, which gets them brown faster.
Want to double or triple this recipe for a crowd? You can bake them all at the lower temperature before guests arrive, pull them out, and crisp them up one batch at a time so everyone gets piping hot wings.
Crispy and Spicy Chicken Wings
- 3 lb. chicken wings flats and drumettes separated
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 1/4 tsp kosher salt divided
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 6 stalks celery
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of foil, then set a wire rack over foil. That wire rack ensures that hot air can circulate all around the wings, which helps to get them super-crispy—if you don't have one, do yourself a favor and pick one up, because they're useful for so many different things. That said, if you don't have one, you can lightly oil the foil and place the wings directly on it; they'll still get really crispy on the top side.
- Mix ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 4 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl. (Just so you know, we measured that quantity of salt with Diamond Crystal kosher salt; if you're using Morton, which is finer, it'll be more like 2¼ tsp.)
- Pat 3 lb. chicken wings and add to bowl with spice mixture. Toss with your hands until evenly coated.
- Arrange wings on prepared rack, spacing evenly apart. Don't crowd them! If you're doubling or tripling this recipe, you're going to need separate racks for all of them.
- Bake wings 25 minutes; they’re going to be pale but will begin to look dry, which is what you want. Increase oven temperature to 445°F and continue to bake, turning wings halfway through with tongs, until bubbly and golden, 25–30 minutes. (This is a good time to set a timer and move on to Step 6 while the wings cook.) When the wings are where you want them, take them out and allow them to rest for 5 minutes so they cool slightly, which will allow the skin to crisp up even more.
- While wings bake, bring ½ cup hot sauce, 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, and 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until slightly reduced and thickened, 6–8 minutes.
- Using a spoon, mix ½ cup crumbled blue cheese, ½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt, and remaining ½ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. kosher salt in a small bowl until just combined. Cover and chill until ready to use.
- Wash and trim 6 celery stalks. Slice on a diagonal into 3"-long sticks. Arrange on a platter.
- Transfer wings to a large bowl, pour buffalo sauce over, and toss until evenly coated.
- Transfer wings to platter with celery, serve with blue cheese dressing and a roll of paper towels alongside. Enyoj!