weeknight dinners: easy air fryer wings

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I only very recently returned to eating wings again after a hiatus due to working at a (disgusting) wing joint in college that left my hair smelling like fried wings for days and me deeply scarred from watching health code violation wings made in a kitchen cleaned by drunk college kids at the end of a night (note: this joint has since been closed for, you guessed it, health code violations!). My return to the world of wings was actually not by choice, it was that wings were the last chicken left at Costco in the beginning of COVID panic, and so began my journey back to eating (sanitary) wings.

This recipe is super easy, takes about 25 minutes total (less than 10 mins of real work and that's what matters).

Servings: 2
Total Time: 25 mins

  • 1 lb of chicken wings, thawed
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil (this has a higher smoke point so helps the wings come out crispy - you can really use whatever oil you want)
  • 1 TBS of baking powder (NOT baking soda! The baking powder gives the wings a nice lil crust) 
  • 1 TBS Seasoning of your choice (if DIYing it I like a combo of paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
Pull it together:
  • Step 1: Throw all the ingredients together (I put them in a ziplock bag) 
  • Step 2: Mix everything together until the wings are evenly coated (I shake the ziplock bag until everything is mixed. Classic Shake n Bake - PS did someone actually make money marketing a product as a "Shake N Bake" and was it anything more than a plastic bag???) 
  • Step 3: Spread out the wings on the air fryer - make sure they're not touching each other! I have an extra rack I can add into mine so I cook them in 2 layers.
  • Step 4: Set the air fryer to 400 degrees for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through. (Note: I check mine at 15 and sometimes give it another shake and let them fry another few minutes until they are to my desired crisp).
Leftovers: reheat in the air fryer the next day on 400 for 5 minutes and they're good as new.

Hot Tips:
  • I buy all my chicken organic at Costco and freeze it. This is the most budget-friendly way I've found to do chicken and Netflix told me Costco meat is reliable. 
  • To thaw it, put your chicken (in its bag) in a room temperature bowl of water for 1ish hour.
  • If I don't cook all the chicken I thawed (solo eating nights), I wrap the remaining raw chicken in plastic wrap, then put it in a freezer bag with ALL the air squeezed out and re-freeze it.
  • NO SAUCE IN THE AIR FRYER!!! Speaking from experience, this will smell bad for a long time and take a very very long time to clean up. I haven't tried saucy wings, will report back.
  • There is only one rule with wings: do.not.leave.meat.behind. I am personally offended by the amount of meat people leave on chicken bones (yes, this is something I had to overcome working at a wing joint and yes I'm judging you).
  • I don't know how legit or sanitary any of this is so do it at your own risk. I CAN confirm this is more sanitary than the way my college joint stored meat so there's that.

And that's it! I don't even dip these in sauce, they are so flavorful and crispy on their own. My favorite side dish for wings is arugula + roasted broccoli tossed in an EVOO drizzle + lemon juice squeeze + salt and pepper.


  1. The best way to make wings saucy is to toss them in the sauce AFTER you have fried them in the air fryer. So cook them the way you did above seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Then toss in your favorite wing sauce while they are hot. I personally prefer to dip them myself but to each their own. So glad you are back your voice has been missed. ~m

    1. Ohh I will try this! The first night I had my air fryer I tossed them in sauce before I put them in which was a disaster.

      Thanks for the welcome back (:


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