How to cook chicken wings

Learn how to cook chicken wings – the perfect Super Bowl Sunday snack to nervously nibble on at half time

chicken wings with barbecue sauce
(Image credit: Getty)

If you know how to cook chicken wings, you also know how to serve up a crowdpleasing snack at any event. If you're hosting a Superbowl party or just looking for a big ol' treat for your halftime snacking then this juicy little number is darn easy to make and easy to adapt to your own tastes. Sure, they are messy, but oh so good for nibbling mid-match and chicken wings are very affordable so great for when you are catering for lots of people.

First, we start with a basic method for either frying or baking your chicken wings. Then, we have a few serving suggestions to try – from hot wings, to sticky teriyaki-style you are sure to find a few options for the whole family... if you are willing to share...

Find out how to make chicken wings below, then head to our food hub for more recipe ideas.

How to bake chicken wings

Roasting is the healthiest way to cook your chicken wings as you can limit the amount of fat your add. It is also fairly hands off and means you can whack a load in the oven while you prep other dishes or do something else. Here is our basic method for lightly seasoned chicken wings. In the flavor and serving suggestions below, we share some marinade ideas which you can add before cooking.

This recipe serves 6 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • 5lbs chicken wings
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2–3tbsp canola oil/spray oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5

2. Trim the tips from the wings as they burn easily and pull off any feather remnants.

3. Put the wings in a large bowl with two tablespoons of oil and mix until lightly coated. Add the third tablespoon if you need it. If using spray oil, spray until well coated.

4. Season with salt and pepper and mix again (if you like dry wings with flavor, you can add other seasonings of choice now, such as paprika, dried herbs or rubs).

5. Take two large roasting tins and line with foil if you are using a marinade as this will make clean up easier. Put wire rack grills in each tray as this will help the chicken cook more evenly.

6. Place the chicken on the racks, taking care not to overcrowd, and bake for 45 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the chicken cooked through. 

7. If serving with buffalo sauce, BBQ or any other glaze, spoon this on as soon as you get the wings out of the oven before serving.

How to fry chicken wings

Fried chicken wings are faster, but this method is best for dry wings, or wings that you plan to coat with sauce after so definitely won't work if covered in marinade. A dry rub can be applied before, and you will want to dust your wings with seasoned flour beforehand for extra crunch.

This recipe serves 6 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • 4lbs chicken wings
  • 3 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried herb/spice mix of choice (optional)

Method:

1. Dry the chicken wings and remove any feathers. Trim the ends of the wings so that there are no really thin bits that will overcook.

2. Mix the flour and salt, pepper and seasonings in a bowl. You can buy ready-made spice mixes or make your own. We like to use a mix of smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne for a little kick, but feel free to freestyle.

3. Working in batches of 6–8 wings at a time, put them in the flour so that they are well covered and set aside until all are dusted.

4. Get a large wide-bottomed pan and fill with 3 inches of canola or sunflower oil. Place on a medium heat and warm until the oil is shimmering. If you have a thermometer this should read 325–350°F/165–175°C. 

5. Fry the chicken in batches making sure the pieces are far enough apart that they don't touch. This will take 8–10 minutes and you must turn them occassionally with tongs.

6. Lift out and drain on kitchen towel. Plate up and smother with your sauce of choice.

Pro tip: You can air fry chicken wings too!

Chicken wing serving ideas

  • Smother with homemade buffalo sauce (hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar and butter) or shop-bought. Do this after cooking.
  • Mix your favourite BBQ sauce with a bit of water and brush over the wings before oven cooking. If frying, cover the wings with sauce after cooking.
  • Make a teriyaki marinade using soy, ginger, garlic and honey/maple syrup. Leave the wings to marinate for as long as possible (you can put them in it the night before in the fridge) then cook in the oven.
  • Serve with a big side of sour cream and chive.
  • Make aioli (garlic mayo) to dip your wings in
  • Cover in jerk marinade before roasting.

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