These Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings Are Oven-Baked Till Crispy
2024/02/07

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Sonny and Cher. Johnny and June. Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Some pairings are just iconic, but when we're talking about , there is none more so than lemon and pepper! They both bring something to the table: bright flavor, tart taste, and gently spicy heat. This flavor duo is great for adding zip to steak, shrimp, and even —so it's no surprise that we used it for these lemon-pepper wings. Our secret to the crispiest, oven-baked chicken wings? Tossing them in a little baking powder before cooking. It crisps the skin right up! These zesty wings are ready to join your spread of or .

What is lemon pepper seasoning?

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Lemon pepper seasoning is exactly what it sounds like: it contains dried lemon zest and black pepper, along with some salt. Some blends also have garlic or onion powder mixed in. You'll want to keep this versatile seasoning in your spice cabinet at all times.

How do you get seasoning to stick to chicken wings?

You don't have to worry about the lemon pepper sticking to these wings. Rather than sprinkling it over the wings before baking, combine the seasoning with butter, honey, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Once the wings are done cooking, toss them in the liquid mixture so that it coats every nook and cranny. 

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Is it better to bake or fry chicken wings?

We say bake! Fried wings are delicious, but you can get them just as crispy in the oven with way less mess and effort. Lining the sheet pans with foil leads to easy clean-up for any , and using a wire rack on the pan allows the hot oven air to circulate around the wings, making them extra crispy. Plus, we added a secret ingredient for extra crispiness: .

Why does baking powder make chicken crispy?

Hold on tight—this gets a little science-y. Remember that experiment we all did in school, where you make a volcano using baking soda and vinegar? Baking powder is like baking soda; it's more basic than acidic. And like vinegar, the chicken juices are just slightly acidic. When the two combine, you don't get an eruption (gosh, that would be fun!), but you do get some tiny bubbles, along with some tenderizing action. The result is chicken skin that's extra crispy, with no skillet of lava-hot oil. You're welcome!

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How do I cut whole chicken wings?

If you can't find chicken wings that are already cut into drumettes and flats at the market, don't worry—you can do it yourself and make it a . Simply turn the whole chicken wing skin side down on your cutting board, and locate the joints between the drumette and the flat and the flat and the wing tip. Work a sharp knife into each joint, avoiding the bone and cutting through the softer cartilage (wiggling your knife to carve through it). You can discard the wing tips, or throw them in a freezer bag and use them to make .

4 lb.

chicken drumettes and flats (wing tips removed)

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Nonstick cooking spray

2 tsp.

kosher salt

4 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 c.

unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp.

lemon pepper seasoning

2 tbsp.

honey

1 tbsp.

hot sauce

2 tsp.

fresh lemon juice

Lemon wedges, for serving

Step  1 Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and top each with a wire rack. Spray the racks with nonstick cooking spray. Step  2 In a large bowl, stir together the salt and baking powder. Add the chicken wings and toss until evenly coated. Divide the wings evenly between the prepared racks, leaving space between the wings. Let them stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 24 hours. 

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Step  3 Preheat the oven to 450°F with the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. If the wings were refrigerated, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Step  4 Bake the wings for 25 minutes. Flip the wings over and rotate the baking sheets between the upper and lower oven racks. Continue baking the wings until crispy and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.  Step  5 While the wings are baking, in a large bowl, stir together the butter, lemon pepper, honey, hot sauce, and lemon juice.  Step  6 Transfer the wings to the bowl with the butter mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges. 

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