These wings, guys. These frickin’ wings.
I thought I had reached wing nirvana a few years ago, and yes, those Sriracha wings hold a dear dear place in my heart, but these are … FIRE.
The first time I made baked wings, I, like most other people, baked them first and then tossed them in sauce. While that certainly leads to flavorful wings, the flavor doesn’t really penetrate the meat — it just sits on top of it (and on your fingers, which EW). Plus, the wings lose their crispy oomph when they’re coated in sauce, and who doesn’t want crispy crunch in every bite?
I wrote off those flaws as minor quibbles the first dozen times I made those wings, because when you’re eating Sriracha wings with a kick of lemon and cilantro, you don’t really complain. But then, as I am wont to do, those little quibbles started nagging at me. So much sauce being wasted on plates and napkins. So much crunch being totally lost!
So this time, I switched things up. Rather than waiting until the end to add flavor, I marinated the wings in Buffalo sauce before they went in the oven, and then brushed the sauce on the wings while they were roasting. The flavor seeps into the meat itself, and didn’t leave sauce on all over my face, hands or clothes. (I did somehow manage to get butter in my hair, but that’s a story for another day.)
Maximum flavor + minimum mess = so much this.
(We didn’t talk much about the blue cheese dip, but it’s kind of my favorite thing ever: super simple [blend blue cheese and Greek yogurt, refrigerate] and soooo blue cheesy. If you don’t like funk, use a milder blue cheese, because as it sits, it amplifies the cheese’s flavor. I used a pretty flavorful Buttermilk Blue and it’s not for the faint of heart. It is a pretty pale eggshell color though!)
- 4 pounds chicken wings
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup Frank's hot sauce (or Texas Pete or Cholula or whatever else you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% but full-fat would do -- nonfat might be too runny)
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- celery sticks
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
- Trim your wings: if they're not already separated, use kitchen shears or a heavy knife to separate the wings at the joint, creating two pieces for each wing.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture in a small bowl, then toss the wings in the large bowl with the sauce and let marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
- While the wings are marinating, make the blue cheese dip: stir together the yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (You can blend this if you prefer your dips creamy, or use a spoon and some elbow dip if you like yours chunky.) Refrigerate until you're ready to use.
- Once the wings have marinated, arrange them on the wire rack. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Brush with the sauce you had set aside earlier, then bake for an additional 10 minutes (or broil for 5 minutes). Serve immediately, with carrots, celery and plenty of blue cheese dip.