Brush up before game day!

There are no drawbacks to having a good chicken wing recipe. Once you've found a go-to method for cooking wings that you're happy with, you've got an incredibly powerful secret weapon for game days, dinner parties, and barbecues alike. The only drawback to getting good at chicken wings is the fact that you'll reasonably be able to make chicken wings whenever you want, and that can be a daunting responsibility if you're watching your cholesterol (or waistline!). 

With that said, let's take a look at some ways to seriously improve your chicken wing game. Here are three different ways of making chicken wings that are guaranteed to make you the MVP of your next Superbowl Party. 

Wing Method #1: Oven Fried Wings

  1. Combine 2 tsp kosher salt with 2 tsp baking powder and toss the wings in the mixture until they're evenly coated. 
  2. Place these wings on a wire rack inside a baking sheet, and then refrigerate overnight, uncovered. 
  3. Before baking the wings, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  4. Finally, bake at 450° for 38-44 minutes. The exact cook time may vary—you'll know once they're brown and incredibly crispy. 
  5. Toss with your sauce!

While this recipe might sound basic, it's a quick and easy way to produce some of the crispiest wings that you'll ever taste in your life. Both the salt mixture and time in the fridge will siphon a lot of moisture from these wings, meaning that they'll crisp up pretty quickly in the oven. If you want wings with an incredible crunch but don't want to spend time deep-frying them, this is your best bet.

Speaking of deep-frying:

Wing Method #2: Deep-Fried Lollipop Wings

  1. Start by separating your drummettes and winglets–the drumsticks and flat wings respectively. 
  2. On each of the drummers, make a small radial cut on the thin end of the bone–separating the meat from the white cartilage. 
  3. On winglets, make cuts where the two bones join, before removing the smaller bone entirely.
  4. From there, gently push the meat down until it resembles a somewhat bulbous lollipop. 
  5. Heat approximately 1 quart of vegetable oil to 375° in a cast iron pan or dutch oven and allow the oil to sit at this temperature for a few minutes before adding your wings. 
  6. Allow your wings to fry for approximately 10 minutes before fishing them out and allowing them to cool on a wire rack (or paper towel).
  7. Toss with your sauce! 

While deep-fried lollipop wings might sound like something from the more deranged parts of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, this recipe is awesome for game days. Making wings into little lollipops allows you to eat them one-handed, which is perfect for a variety of sporting occasions. Even better, deep frying a denser cut of meet gives you an incredibly crispy exterior while keeping the interior nice and juicy. 

Wing Method #3: Par Frying

  1. Similar to before, set up a small fry station using vegetable oil in a cast-iron pan or dutch oven on the stovetop. 
  2. Unlike before, you want to slightly underheat your oil. Bring it to 225° and cook your wings for about 20 minutes. 
  3. At this point, your wings will look colorless and undercooked. Place them on a baking sheet and cool them for at least one hour and up to overnight
  4. When you're ready to fry your wings a second timeheat your oil to 400° and fry your wings for around 10 minutes.
  5. Remove wings, place on a wire rack (or paper towel) to drain for a second before tossing with your sauce! 

Partially frying your wings before properly cooking them has a couple of different benefits, all of which translate to a mind-blowing final product. First, the chicken will be cooked through when it's fried a second time so it will retain more of its flavor. Additionally, a second, crispier outer layer will form towards the end of the cook time, meaning that your wings will be double crispy

Of course, no chicken wing is going to be complete without a good sauce. Stay tuned for ways to up your wing sauce game too! 

In the meantime, share in the comments your favorite type of chicken wing.