Baked wings are the best wings

When I was young and foolish, I wasn’t a big wing guy. Boneless wings, sure. Breaded and easy to eat, no pesky bones. I was all about that. Then I became a grownup.

Eating keto, wings are a go-to bastion of fried deliciousness that also happen to be delightfully carb-free (provided you don’t choose a sweet sauce). In the interest of trying something other than my beloved spicy garlic sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings, I figured I’d find an alternative I could make at home.

jsyymBut I also wasn’t about to bust out my deep fryer — and the approximately 8 million gallons of oil required to fill it — just to make some damn wings. So I hit upon an idea — why not grill them? Grilled wings sounded great! Grilled chicken is good, and chicken wings are chicken, so it makes perfect sense. Right?

Then I did some Googling and discovered that grilled wings tend not to be crispy. I don’t have a lot of deal-breakers when it comes to wings, but “not crispy” is one of them. In fact, when I’m at b-dubs, I always ask for extra crispy, knowing that inevitably the time between saucing and when I eat them will take the crispy skin and sog it up a bit. (Is “sog” a verb? Whatever. It is now.)

Then I found this post. At first I was skeptical: baked wings? Nothing in the history of delicious fried items has been improved by becoming a “healthy” baked version. Just think about Baked Lay’s chips — just like regular potato chips, minus the flavor and texture you actually, y’know, enjoy. But this baked wings recipe is the real deal. Feel free to visit there and follow those instructions if you wish, I won’t take it personally. But here’s why you should probably just stick around here …

That recipe calls for a sauce. This blog is about lazy keto cooking, and making a sauce ain’t lazy. Forget sauce — we’re dry rubbing, friends. Not “dry rubbing friends” — we don’t know each other well enough yet. So that’s an important comma.rocketpowered-bicycles-avoiding-over-and-under-engineering-your-product-13-638

We’re also not adding baking powder to make it extra crispy, as that otherwise wonderful recipe advises. Not very keto-friendly.

What we are doing is stealing the cook times and temperatures — because they were dead-on perfect.

I grabbed some organic wings from my local grocery store, not because I’m fancy but because they were only 50 cents/pound more than regular and had 12 wings in one pack vs. eight, and I’m not doing that whole hot dogs vs. hot dog buns math. I want 12, they had 12. Sold.

Made a quick, completely non-measured dry rub out of Trader Joe’s seasoned salt (the majority of the mix), with lesser amounts, to taste, of pink himilayan salt, ancho chili powder, cayenne and garlic powder. I eyeballed them all. Got eyeballs? Eyeball that shit. Also, I used this method:

  1. Lick finger.
  2. Dip finger in rub.
  3. Taste.
  4. Add more cayenne.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3.
  6. Nod approvingly.

On we go. I patted the wings dry, mashed them into the rub until they were well-coated on both sides and laid them out on a baking rack above a baking sheet (coated with foil, because cleaning things sucks worse than soggy wings). I recently bought this rack (in 12×17 size), mainly for crispy oven bacon, but it turns out to be clutch for perfect wings, too.

After that there’s nothing to do but stick them in the oven following the directions from the aforementioned recipe.

  1. Put the wings in at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. Increase the temp to 425 degrees and leave the wings in for another 40-50 minutes.

Note: In the spirit of laziness, and wanting to get back to my gin on the porch before the ice melted, I didn’t stick around for the preheat phase as it went from 250 to 425. I just set the oven timer for 50 minutes and figured that would build in the preheat time — which it did.

With about 20 minutes to go, I flipped the wings just to ensure maximum all-around crispiness. And they came out perfectly. The wife says they’re her new favorite wings, and I have to say I agree. Easy, crispy and delicious.