From Water-Logged To Crispy: 3 Tips For Better Frozen Chicken Wings
Bagged, frozen chicken wings are a convenient way to purchase wing sections. Unfortunately, the freezing process can often leave you with wings that are water-logged and difficult to make crispy, especially in the oven. There are three ways to achieve crispy, yet juicy wings.
Reduce The Water Content
You can either thaw your wing sections in cool water or allow them to remain in the bag inside the refrigerator. Once your wings are thawed, squeeze each wing as hard as possible to release the excess water. For extra drying time, you can allow your wings to drain by placing them in a colander that is placed over a bowl to catch the remaining water. Some people arrange the wing sections in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet, placed in the refrigerator. This will help the skin dry out even more and lead to crispier skin.
Use High Heat
If you want to cook your wings in the oven, it is best to cook them faster over high heat. Whenever possible, arrange your wings on a wire rack, which will allow the fat to drip into the baking sheet below. When your wings sit in the fat, they will steam rather than bake, which adds to your cooking time. Try cooking your wings at 425 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The length of time they need to cook will depend on the size of the wings, but plan for them to cook approximately an hour or until they reach a safe temperature. If you do not have a wire rack for your wings, take them out of the oven when they are almost finished and drain the excess fat so they will not take as long to become crispy.
When you season your wings will depend on the type of seasoning you use. If you want to marinate your wings, this will need to be done once they have thawed and most of the water has been removed. After removing them from the marinade, pat them dry to remove excess moisture. Otherwise, most of the seasoning should occur after your wings are already crispy. BBQ sauces can be added after the wings finish cooking, and they should be placed back into the oven to allow the sauce to caramelize on the wings. Another option is to toss your hot, crispy wings in a dry seasoning mix, which will also preserve their texture.
Buying frozen wings does not have to equal soggy. The main trick to crispy wings is to reduce the moisture content before you cook them at high heat. Speak with a professional about wings to learn more.