How to Cook Chicken Wings
If we told you how many chicken wings are consumed on Superbowl Sunday, you probably wouldn’t believe us. Chicken wings are ubiquitous in American culture, particularly when it comes to sports. Still, it may surprise you to learn that a whopping 1.42 billion chicken wings were expected to be consumed on this year’s Superbowl Sunday.
Because of labor shortages, increased production costs, and increased demand, the price of chicken wings has gone up - if you’re a chicken wing aficionado yourself, you’ve likely noticed that your favorite wing joint may be listing chicken wings at “market price” on the menu - that’s right, ladies and gentlemen, chicken wings are the new lobster tails!
So, does that mean you need to give up your favorite game day snack? Definitely not - but due to the rising costs, you may decide that it’s a better option to cook your chicken wings at home rather than ordering them in from your favorite wing joint. Even if you’ve never cooked chicken wings before, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how delicious they are homemade!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Homemade Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are easy to cook, but they aren’t foolproof. There are a few tricks to cooking the perfect chicken wings at home.
- As always, start with high quality chicken! When you use chicken from pasture raised birds in your meals, you’re automatically upping the taste factor, even before you season them or add your favorite wing sauce. Pasture raised chicken is much more savory and flavorful than conventional chicken because of the varied diet that the chickens consume on pasture. Our Pasturebird party wings provide between 2 and 2.5 pounds of frozen pasture raised chicken wings, and the pack lasts up to a year in your freezer.
- Bake, don’t fry! While the original buffalo wing recipe called for deep fried wings coated in a delicious buffalo sauce, frying actually decreases the complex flavor of the skin, which is a big part of what makes chicken wings so delicious. You’re better off baking or air frying your wings to keep the savory flavor while crisping up your wings just as much as frying.
- For nice and crispy skin, bake your wings at high heat. The trick to getting that extra crispy and flavorful skin is to bake your wings at about 400 degrees, on a rack so the air circulates and moisture released during cooking drips below the wings, instead of pooling around them - this causes the wings to steam rather than roast, and you won’t get crispy wings with this method.
Homemade wings are better for your health and your budget
You may worry that homemade chicken wings will never measure up to the restaurant wings you’re used to. Well, fear not. Homemade chicken wings are not only healthier for you, but you can jazz them up with your choice of delicious wing sauces so they taste just like your restaurant favorites! If you follow a paleo diet and are worried that wings are no longer an option, think again! After all, meat is a cornerstone of the paleo diet. It’s the seasonings and sauces that you can run into trouble with, if you use conventional store bought products. But there are loads of options that will allow you to still enjoy your favorite chicken wing flavors when following a paleo diet. A quick Google search will bring up tons of recipes for paleo chicken wing sauce, and if you don’t feel like making your own, there are lots of paleo options for premade wing sauce.
While we recommend against deep frying your chicken wings, air frying is another thing entirely, and is one of our favorite ways to prepare homemade chicken wings that come out perfectly crispy and flavorful every time. This recipe from wholekitchensink.com links to some great paleo buffalo sauce recipes, provides some recommendations for store bought paleo wing sauces, and gives you step by step instructions for making homemade air fryer chicken wings. And we second the article’s recommendation to serve these homemade wings with a delicious paleo ranch dressing sauce for dipping.
As is usually the case with homemade, making your own chicken wings is a lot more budget friendly. Rather than paying a “market price” markup for restaurant wings, you can pay a lot less to get higher quality, pasture raised chicken wings. For example, our party pack is only $10 for up to 2.5 pounds of wings - that’s about 8-10 wings for far less than the price you’d pay in a restaurant. The next time you host a game day get together, surprise your guests with homemade pasture raised chicken wings - you’ll save a bunch of money, and by keeping the wings and the sauces paleo friendly, you’ll likely find that you’re not left feeling sluggish and overindulged the way you would be with preservative-heavy, high-fructose corn syrup laden restaurant wings and sauces.
If you’re planning a totally paleo spread to complement your homemade chicken wings, there are tons of delicious and healthy side dishes that pair perfectly with pasture raised paleo chicken wings! We love the combination of this paleo buffalo cauliflower dip paired with fresh veggies or paleo crackers, simple paleo sweet potato fries, and these paleo chicken lettuce wraps, for starters.
The bottom line is, the rising price of chicken wings doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite game day (or any day!) snack - life these days is all about adapting, and what better way to adapt to this particular scenario than trading in an expensive and less-than-healthy restaurant snack for a wholesome and nutrient dense version you can make at home, for way less! Homemade chicken wings are so easy to make and there are so many healthy paleo recipes out there to complement them. We’re pretty confident that once you try your own homemade pasture raised chicken wings, you won’t ever have a craving for your old restaurant wings again.