Baked Sriracha Chicken Wings
If you think these look good, just wait till you taste them. But that’s not even the best part. They are baked, yes, but thanks to a nifty little trick, get as crisp in the oven as when deep-fried.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it isn’t. And there are very few things in life we can say that about.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not the kind of person that completely shuns deep-frying of food. There are some things that absolutely have to be deep-fried otherwise you might as well look elsewhere. Take Indian breads like poori and bhaturas for example, which depend on the very act of deep-frying to acquire their characteristic balloon-like shape. A ‘baked poori’ is a contradiction in terms. Like Schrödinger’s cat, the very act of baking ensures that the poori ceases to be just that – so please, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking it is what it isn’t.
However, if the baked final outcome, like in this case, is as good as the deep-fried version, then the former is already at an advantage. Baking comes with the convenience of putting it on a tray, shoving it in the oven and forgetting about it until the timer goes off. You don’t have to stand there, frying batches after batches (and with inadequate little nibblers like chicken wings, you do have to fry a large number for even a small crowd), getting your kitchen greasy in the process. Nor do you have to live with the fried chicken smell which, like a squatter, refuses to budge.
Baking these wings may also be the safer option for new cooks not experienced enough to deep-fry. Plus, whereas the fried version adds fat to the wings, the baked version renders most fat out of them and yet leaves them super crispy. That’s got to be good news in anybody’s book.
And while I can’t take credit for the invention of this genius trick, I do consider it my civic duty to tell you all about it. It’s just that good and I’d hate for you to miss out. My only caveat to let you in on this secret is to please read the notes carefully otherwise all your effort might go down the drain, literally and figuratively.
- Please note that the recipe uses baking powder, NOT soda bicarb. Also, if you’re in the US, you might want to go for an aluminium-free baking powder as some people are sensitive to aluminium and may find this recipe unpalatable. This shouldn’t be an issue in the UK where it’s hard to come by any baking powder with aluminium sulphate in it. If you’re in any other country, please check the label.
- It is very important to ensure that the chicken wings are as dry as possible before you toss them in the baking powder – salt mixture.
- It is also important that you place the wings on a rack over the baking sheet, so that hot air can circulate around them and they don’t sit in the rendered fat.
- You can make this just as easily in an air-fryer but I prefer the oven because I can do them all in one go.
- I usually serve these as a starter but if I need to stretch them to a meal, I make some oven roasted potato to go with them.
- Sriracha is available in varying heat, use whichever level you like or, if making this for little ones, replace the sriracha with an equal quantity of ketchup.
- The quantity of sauce is enough to coat the wings, but if you’d like to serve extra as a dip, double the quantity of ingredients.
- If you find that the rendered fat makes for a smoky oven (not always, happens occasionally), carefully try to drain it off before putting it back under the rack with the chicken.
Baked Sriracha Chicken Wings
For the Wings:
- 1 kg chicken wings, skin on but without the wing tips halved at joint
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ tsp salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce, whichever level of heat you prefer or use 1 tbsp ketchup in addition to the 2 tbsp specified next
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 - 3 tsp lime juice
- chilli flakes, sesame seeds, chopped spring onions optional
- Preheat oven to 225°C. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and top each with a wire rack. Brush the wire rack with a tiny bit of oil. Pat wings dry with paper towels, then place in a large bowl. Sprinkle baking powder and salt evenly on top and toss a few times.
- Arrange wings in single layer on wire rack. Roast wings until golden on both sides, about 40 minutes, flipping wings over and rotating sheet halfway through roasting.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry your large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients except the lime juice together. Add the lime juice little by little tasting until the sourness is to your preference.
- When the wings are done, take them out of the oven and add them to the big bowl. Add the sauce and toss well to coat all the wings evenly.
- If you like, garnish with chilli flakes, sesame seeds and/or chopped spring onions.
Credit: Basic wings recipe compiled from several sources, sauce recipe all my own.