I dont know if the way that I do chicken wings is any healthier and better for me than ordering chicken wings from Wings Stop, but I feel like it is. Whenever you can swap out frying something for baking it, and you make your own sauces as opposed to slathering it with a lot of sodium laced and sugar laced sauces, its gotta be better.
I used to work in restaurants and I know the way that restaurants prepare wings, is NOT good for you. Just so you know, restaurant wings are usually frozen, defrosted, and double fried in fat.
To prepare them enough so that when they are ordered as appetizers, you have to give them a first fry in bulk to cook them… and then as they are ordered they are portioned and fried again before being served to the customer. And then they dump whatever sauce you want in a mixing bowl and toss them for coating.
I don’t know about you, but that CAN’T be healthy. I’m not saying that what I’m doing is any great shakes either, but it works for me… you know, as long as I dont knock out a 30 piece!
As far as the sauce goes, and this is what fucked me up when I first found out what it was, traditional wing sauce is just a stick of butter and tabasco (or whatever hot sauce you prefer). Whoa. Thats Paula Deen territory.
So here it is, simple and plain…. get a zip lock bag, and dump your wings in there. Get some Sriracha and a light italian dressing and squirt a little of each in the bag. I go heavy on the Sriracha. Let it marinate in the fridge. Best if done overnight, but you can get away with as little as 30 minutes of marinating.
This is the key to the whole thing: The way you rack it. If you were to just put them in a tray and cook them, they are sitting in their own runoff and fat, but when you elevate the meat on a rack, all of the drippings fall off and go into the tray below.
I bake them for about 40 minutes at 350* (20 minutes on either side) and then give them a little crisp up in the broiler setting of about 3-5 minutes a side.
Temps and time will vary on your oven (toaster oven) – but once you get the hang of it, you will be old gold.
To get your “ranch” game right, I’ve got a solution for that too. Instead of going straight ranch or bleu cheese which is a big source of ‘unhealthiness’ in wing consumption, I’ve done this swap.
In a mixing bowl, I just use a lil bit of ranch, but a couple of big spoonfuls of greek yogurt and more of that Sriracha. Mix it up real good with a little bit of S&P, and you have a nice creamy dipping sauce to dress the wings.
Believe me when I tell you…. this can go toe-to-toe or wang-for-wang with any damn restaurant out there!