First, you'll need to preheat your oven to 425. Grab a ziplock bag and your favorite spices. I used a mix of Williams-Sonoma Memphis Rib Rub and organic red pepper flakes from World Market. I absolutely love the spice mixes that Williams-Sonoma sells, but I wait until they go on super clearance or I make a trip to the Williams-Sonoma outlet. In this case, I got the Memphis Rib Rub for $2.63, originally $10.50. I've asked the WS sales lady before about the clearance food at WS and she told me they mark it down the month before the expiration date. While this might be concerning for some food products, spices generally don't "go bad" they just start to lose some of their potency. As for the red pepper flakes, I picked those up at World Market because I happened to be walking down the spice aisle when I remembered I was out. I do like organic spices better...they seem more potent to me, which is very important for spices like cinnamon and red pepper flakes, but probably less important for things like garlic salt or onion powder. I've used a lot of different combinations like lemon herb, chipotle seasoning, and plain old salt and pepper, so just use what you have on hand and sounds appealing.
I threw the chicken wings in the ziplock bag putting in enough spices to coat the chicken. I used the same bag, but coated the chicken in two batches so the wings were evenly covered.
The other prep you need to do is what really makes these wings great. Take a jelly roll pan if you have it (if not, use a cookie sheet with a lip on it) and line it with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack or cookie cooling rack on top of your pan (I got my jelly roll pan and wire rack from Williams-Sonoma Outlet - try to make sure that your rack fits exactly inside your pan so things aren't sliding about). Coat the rack with a spritz of Pam cooking spray. Place your wings on the rack. I like to use tongs to put the chicken in the ziplock bag and again to arrange them in the pan. For those of you who hate touching raw meat (that would definitely be Briana y'all), this is an easy trick which also helps keep your hands clean to do other things.
There are two big advantages to using the wire rack which make it worth the purchase. First, unlike other baked wings, which are just made in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish, the wings aren't sitting in their own juices or grease which allows the skin to get slightly crispy all the way around...and we all know the skin is the best part! The second advantage, is that because the wings are raised off the pan, the excess grease drips out and lands on your pan and NOT on your hips!
After you've arranged your wings, put them in the oven for 20 mins. Take them out, flip them over, and put them back in for another 10-15 mins. You want them to be browned and slightly crispy, but not dried out. Here's the finished result (if you look closely, you can see the grease that has landed on the tin foil below).
Don't they look great? Besides having no added oil (people please, that spritz of Pam hardly counts), this recipe has very easy clean up! Put your wire rack in the dishwasher and throw the foil away. Done! Time to enjoy!
If you can't imagine having wings that aren't covered in hot sauce, you can melt one tablespoon of butter (so that it will stick to the wings, olive oil will NOT work) and dump half a cup of hot sauce (I like a mixture of Frank's Red Hot, Tapatio, and Valentina) in the pan. Put the cooked wings in a bowl, cover with sauce, and toss. Remove from bowl so that wings do not become soggy from sitting in sauce. Although we are trying to avoid added fat with this recipe, I think in the case of events like the Super Bowl it's definitely a less fattening option. Think of it like this: one tablespoon of butter is about 100 calories...evenly spread over 24 wings that's only about 4 additional calories per wing.
What do you think? Easy and definitely less fattening right? Mr. 3 loves loves loves his wings this way, so I can definitely say that they have been husband tested and approved. These are definitely a fun treat while I'm working on beating the winter weight gain (for more on that, see here, here, and here). Have any fun recipes? Send them our way!