May 11, 2021

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Expert Butchers Test Out 10 Different Chicken Wing Recipes

Brooklyn-based butchers Ben Turley and Brent Young spend a lot of time around their shop The Meat Hook’s industrial ovens, giant backyard smoker, and variously sized grills. But today they’re going to prove you don’t need professional-level (and size) machines to make delicious chicken wings. On this episode of Prime Time, the two make 10 different styles of crispy, saucy, and smoky chicken wings that you can make at home in your own kitchen.

The duo demonstrates various dry rub, batter, and brining techniques, like basic 12 hour dry salt rub, cornstarch dredge, and a baking powder coating. But for the more adventurous wing master, they take it a step further with a recipe for Cool Ranch Dorito dry brine, and even a “bubble batter” that involves Champagne and duck fat.

As for the tools needed for these recipes and demonstrations, you won’t need a walk-in-closet-sized smoker, for example, because Ben and Brent will show you how to use your air fryer and Instant Pot to achieve that same wood-smoked flavor. Other tools involve everything from an Air Fryer to a plane old sturdy pot that’s good for heating oil. And those more curious about frying and cooking techniques, the butchers try everything from deep frying, to air frying, to pan frying, to broiling, to even using the microwave in one step of one of their processes.

Check out the video to find your next favorite type of chicken wing, and see all of the recipes below.

Recipes for Wings, 10 Ways

Salted and deep fried chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:

1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
Kosher salt (to taste)
Canola oil (for frying)

Instructions:

Step 1: Add wings to a sheet tray fitted with a rack. Using a paper towel, dry wings, salt wings and place uncovered in the refrigerator. Allow to dry out for 12 hours.

Step 2: Add 6 inches of canola or vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven or tabletop fryer.

Step 3: Remove wings from the refrigerator while oil preheats.

Step 4: Bring oil to 360 degrees, fry for 7 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, season with salt, toss in desired sauce and eat.


Air fried with baking powder chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
½ cup baking powder
Kosher salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Step 1: Add baking powder to a bowl. Coat each wing in baking powder, then add wings to a sheet tray fitted with a rack, place it into the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.

Step 2: Remove wings from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Step 3: Add wings to the air fryer basket in 1 single layer. Use the chicken setting and cook for 22 minutes at 392 degrees.

Step 4: Remove wings, season with salt, toss with desired sauce and eat.


Smoked and air fried chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups wood chips (favorite flavor)
2 cups water
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
Kosher salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Step 1: Add wood chips and water to the base of an Instant Pot. Turn on the steam setting and let wood chips warm up and soak for 30 minutes. Release the steam, open Instant Pot and add a steamer basket.

Step 2: Add 12 wings to the steamer basket. Place the lid back on, turn on the pressure cook setting. Pressure cook for 20 minutes. Release steam/pressure.

Step 3: Remove the steamer basket of wings and set the wings into an air fryer basket.

Step 4: Place wood chips into the bottom of the air fryer to add more smokiness. Turn the air fryer to the chicken setting but lower the time to 15 minutes. Cook and remove wings from the air fryer. Season with salt. Toss wings in desired sauce.


Cornstarched, salted, and roasted chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cooking spray
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch and salt.

Step 3: Dip each wing into the dredge, and add to a sheet tray fitted with a rack. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 4: Spray wings with cooking spray, place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove and toss in desired sauce.


Steamed and broiled chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
Salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to broil.

Step 2: Fill a large pot with 3 inches of water and fit with a steamer basket. Bring to a simmer.

Step 3: Add a single layer of wings to the steam basket, place the lid on. Steam for 20 minutes allowing the fat to render.

Step 4: Remove to a sheet tray fitted with a rack, dry wings with a paper towel.

Step 5: Dry with a paper towel before placing the tray into the broiler. Broil on high for 5 minutes, then flip and broil on high for another 3 minutes. Remove wings, season with salt and toss in desired sauce.


Microwaved and broiled chicken wings: aka the 15-MINUTE WING!

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
3 cups water
Kosher salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to broil.

Step 2: Add wings to a microwave safe bowl, add enough water to cover, cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave wings for 5 minutes on high.

Step 3: Remove, dry wings on a paper towel and place onto sheet tray

Step 4: Broil on high for 5 minutes skin side up, flip and broil for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 5: Remove from the oven, season wings with salt and toss in desired sauce.


Poached and pan-fried chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound thick cut bacon
⅔ cup bacon fat
⅓ cup canola oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Add 1 pound of thick cut bacon to a sheet tray. Cook for 20 minutes until fat has rendered out and bacon is crisp. This should yield 2/3 cup bacon fat.

Step 3: Poured bacon fat into a high sided braiser or cast iron pan. Add canola oil and bring to 365 degrees.

Step 4: Add chicken stock to a medium sauce pot. Add wings, bring to a simmer and let poach for 20 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray and dry.

Step 5: Add dried, poached wings to bacon fat/canola oil — be careful of splatter here! Fry wings for 3 minutes on the first side, and 1 minute on the other side.

Step 6: Using a spider or slotted spoon remove to a paper towel lined plate. Season with salt. Toss wings in desired sauce.


Dry-brined and baked chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

¼ cup ranch seasoning
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)

Instructions:

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine ranch seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and teaspoon salt. Stir until combined.

Step 2: Dip 12 wings into seasoning mixture. Set wings onto sheet tray fitted with a rack. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove from the refrigerator. Bake wings for 25 minutes to render fat.

Step 4: Turn the oven to 425 degrees, flip wings and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove wings from the oven, toss in desired sauce.


Chicky-dusted and convection-roasted chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

¼ cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to convection roast (fan assisted) 425 degrees.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together tapioca flour, rice flour, and baking powder. Dredge 12 wings into mixture. Place directly onto a sheet tray skin side down. This will allow the skin to “fry and crisp” in its own fat.

Step 3: Roast for 25 minutes, then using tongs, flip wings to finishing cooking an additional 20 minutes. Remove wings from the oven, salt and toss in desired sauce.


Bubbly battered and duck fat–fried chicken wings

Yields: 12 wings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 dozen wings (split, tips removed)
2 quarts Duck Fat
¼ cup vodka
½ cup rice flour
½ cup champagne
Kosher salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Step 1: Add cornstarch and baking powder to a bowl, whisk together. Dip 12 wings into the mixture and set onto a sheet tray fitted with a rack. Let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Step 2: Add duck fat to a high sided cast iron pan. Bring duck fat to 365 degrees.

Step 3: Prepare the batter by whisking vodka, rice flour and champagne. Using tongs, dip each wing into batter. Add directly to oil. Continue until all wings are dipped and in the oil. Fry for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Using a spider, remove from oil onto a sheet tray fitted with a rack. Season with salt. Toss wings in desired sauce.