Baked Salt and Pepper Wings
Crispy, Chinese-style salt and pepper wings are oven baked rather than deep fried. The wings are then tossed in a garlic, salt and pepper mix. It’s a little healthier, easier to make and just as tasty as the traditional method.
This recipe took longer to post than I expected. I made the recipe, I took my photos and then I ate my wings. And then somehow, my photos vanished.
I spent many, many hours going through each and every memory card but I couldn’t find them. And so I finally gave up because it would be faster to make them again than to continue looking. In all my years of blogging, I haven’t had something like this happen to me before. And then the second time when I took the photos (I was extra careful and even had two cards recording the images), right after I finished, the memory card started to get an error. Luckily, my photos were still okay. But I was beginning to think this was a recipe that wasn’t ever going to be shared.
But I was determined to share this recipe because I really enjoyed these wings.
One of my all-time favorite ways to eat chicken wings are salt and pepper chicken wings (my recipe here). Traditionally, chicken wings are deep fried until golden, and then tossed in a garlic, salt and pepper mix. The wings come out super flavorful, with a garlicky, spicy kick to them.
I’ve made them several times before, but they are time consuming and I don’t like frying foods when I can avoid it.
As you may recall, I recently discovered a fantastic recipe for super crispy baked chicken wings. I immediately knew I wanted to use that method to make my salt and pepper wings.
The came out wonderfully. Golden brown and crunchy, with all the flavors from traditional salt and pepper wings. I may never go back to making the fried version again.
Baked Salt and Pepper Wings
- 3 lbs chicken wings, defrosted and patted dry with paper towels (I purchased ones already separated into first and second wing sections but you can also use full wings and separate them)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder (not baking soda!)
- 1/2 head of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 green scallions, finely sliced
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
- white pepper and salt (please use white pepper and not black pepper; you can also use Chinese pepper salt seasoning blend for fried chicken available at Chinese supermarkets, see photo in this post; or you can use a combination of white pepper, salt and five spice powder)
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large baking sheet (half sheet pan size works) with foil. Place a cooling wire rack on top and spray surface with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, add wings and sprinkle with salt and baking powder. Toss the wings until they are evenly coated in the baking powder and salt. You want the baking powder to be a thin coat on the wings and not still powdery.
- Place the wings closely side by side (but not touching) onto the cooling rack. All the wings should fit in a single layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the lower half of the oven. The wings should shrink (from the skin being dried out and fat rendered off) but still very pale.
- Raise oven temperature to 425°F. Place wings back into the oven, this time in the upper middle section of the oven. Bake wings for about 50 minutes. Wings should be golden brown and when you touch the skin, it should feel crispy. Allow the wings to cool for about 10 minutes, which will further crisp up the skin. Do not attempt to remove wings from the wire rack until you have allowed them to set because the bottom of the wings will firm and crisp up during this cooling time.
- In a large wok or skillet, add olive oil and garlic. Bring to medium heat and cook until garlic turns a light brown and crisps up. Lower heat to low and add in red pepper flakes and cook until the red pepper is infused into the oil (about 30 seconds).
- Add chicken to the oil and toss to coat in the red pepper flakes, garlic and oil. Sprinkle salt and white pepper seasoning and scallions and toss until chicken is evenly coated. Turn off heat and serve.
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