Whether you toss them in buffalo sauce, dip them in blue cheese dressing, or eat them plain, it’s safe to say that no game day spread is complete without a platter of chicken wings.
In fact, The National Chicken Council released their annual chicken wing report estimating that Americans will eat about 1.42 billion wings this Sunday. Although you can fry them, baking your chicken wings is the healthiest and probably easiest way to go. And if you want to save the calories and still achieve crispy texture of a fried chicken wing, then you should try baking them on a cooling rack!
Cooling racks usually make their appearance whenever you bake sweet treats. But according to The Cookful, since they’re oven-safe, you can get more uses out of them. They work perfectly for baking wings because the heat is able to circulate evenly around each piece while hovering above the baking sheet. Also, the chicken fat is able to drain off of the wings as they’re cooking, which prevents them from becoming soggy and greasy.
Another way to ensure that the wings crisp up in the oven similar to a fryer is by tossing them in a baking powder and salt mixture. The Cookful says to aim for 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 20 pieces of chicken wings. This might not seem like enough mixture to coat each wing at first, but it’s the perfect ratio for drying out the skin without imparting a weird aftertaste.
Before the wings go into the oven, space them out evenly and, if needed, divide the amount of wings between two cooling racks like Checkered Chef’s Cooling Rack Set (Buy on Amazon, $11.95) to ensure that each one gets as crispy as possible. Tip: lining the bottom of the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper before placing the cooling rack on top makes cleanup afterwards so much easier.
And there you have it: All the makings of crispy chicken wings without having to deep fry them! Don’t worry if you make too many — we also have great tips for reheating wings so you can enjoy them the next day, too.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.