Baked Hot Wings

It’s no secret that my all-time favorite junk food is hot wings. I am completely obsessed to the point of absurdity. If I go to a restaurant and wings are on the menu, I feel it’s imperative to order them. Even if I don’t plan on it and have just finished placing my order, out of nowhere, the words will come out of my mouth: “And I gotta get the wings.” It’s a sickness. I usually don’t make wings at home because who wants to pull out the deep fryer for a quick snack? I thought there had to be a way to make respectable baked wings. “Absolutely not,” all my cooks told me. “Baked wings suck.” Game on. I was going to make baked wings and make them delicious. Most baked wings taste soggy because the chicken skin isn’t crisp enough. So I sear the wings in a smokin’ hot pan, then put the pan in the oven. The sauce is sriracha and soy sauce, which gives the wings an Asian flavor. But you could use any sauce you like. The key is not to drown the wings in sauce or they’ll lose their crispness. A thin glaze is all you need. My wife, Valerie, was at the photo shoot for this recipe, and she’s not a fan of chicken wings. However, I had to practically slap her hand to keep her from eating these before the photographer could get a shot of them.

Feeds 2 folks (or 1 hungry nibbler)


Chicken wings – 24, a mix of drums and flats, about 2 pounds

Grapeseed oil – 1 tablespoon

Sriracha chile sauce – 1/3 cup

Malt vinegar – 1/4 cup

Soy sauce – 1/4 cup

Sugar – 2 tablespoons

Garlic – 2 cloves, very thinly sliced

Scallions – 1/4 cup thinly sliced on the diagonal


1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

2. Pat the wings very dry with a paper towel. Heat a large (14-inch) cast-iron skillet or two smaller cast-iron skillets over high heat until smokin’ hot. Add just enough of the oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using tongs, set the wings in the pan in a single layer with the meatiest side down. This will help render the fat. Cook the wings for 2 minutes, then transfer the skillet to the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and, using tongs, flip the wings over. Continue baking until the wings are cooked through and the juices run clear, another 10 minutes.

3. Combine the sriracha, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cut the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and toss in 1 tablespoon of the scallions.

4. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and, using tongs, transfer the wings to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the remaining 3 tablespoons scallions.

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