Few foods are more closely connected to football viewing than chicken wings—crisp-skinned, bursting with juice, bathed in a rich, spicy, salty, or maybe-just-a-little-sweet sauce. Even if the closest you generally get to sports is beer pong, Super Bowl Sunday is a wonderful excuse to make a meal of wings, and invite your friends to join you, with the help of these 13 recipes. For purists, we've got a classic Buffalo wing, double-fried for extra crunch and tossed in a sauce of butter and Frank's Red Hot sauce. For the more open-minded among you, we've got wings flavored with everything from cumin and Sichuan peppercorns to strawberries and chipotle peppers.
Fried and Baked Wings
The Ultimate Extra-Crispy Double-Fried Confit Buffalo Wings
A perfect Buffalo wing is characterized by moist, tender meat and shatteringly crisp skin. This recipe gets you there via a two-stage cooking process: First, a low-temperature fry (essentially a confit) breaks down the meat's collagen, making it super tender. A second fry in hotter oil turns the skin crisp, crackly, and ready for slathering in a traditional mixture of Frank's Red Hot and butter.
Sweet Chili Chicken Wings
This recipe calls for a more conventional preparation, frying the wings just once at 375°F. The sauce, though, is anything but ordinary—a mix of sweet chili sauce and tahini, plus ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. The sesame flavor of the tahini manages to blend smoothly with the other ingredients for a wing that's spicy, sweet, and indescribably tasty.
Extra-Crispy Thai Sweet and Spicy Wings
When properly cooked, your wings should crisp up perfectly without any coating. But if you want extra crunch, batter your wings with a double-dredging in flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Here, they're dressed with a vinegar- and chili-laced sauce whose sweetness gives way to acidic tang, then to a burst of heat.
The Best Korean Fried Chicken
To nail Korean fried chicken's signature crunchy, eggshell-thin exterior, batter your wings in a mix of flour, cornstarch, and baking powder, plus vodka to inhibit gluten formation. Serve these with our sweet and hot chili sauce or mildly spiced soy sauce.
Really Good Oven-Fried Buffalo Wings
As much as we tend to associate wings (and many other game-day snacks) with deep-fried greasiness, it's surprisingly easy to make chicken wings in the oven that are virtually indistinguishable from the traditionally fried kind—and it requires a lot less attention and cleanup. The secret is tossing the wings with baking powder and salt, then letting them rest overnight, which dehydrates the chicken so that it crisps up quickly in the oven.
Oven-Baked Strawberry-Chipotle Wings With Avocado-Blue Cheese Dip
Once you've mastered our oven-frying technique, you'll want to try experimenting with different flavor schemes—here, we use a tangy sauce made with strawberries, chipotle peppers, balsamic vinegar, and ginger. For a luxuriously creamy accompaniment, blend avocado, blue cheese, sour cream, and lemon juice into a smooth dip.
Hot and Numbing Xi'an-Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings
Like your wings extra spicy? Skip the sauce and toss them with this seasoning blend instead. Made with Sichuan peppercorns, cumin, fennel seed, and dried red chilies, its addictive, mouth-numbing heat will beg you to keep eating. Use whole spices and toast and grind them yourself for the best flavor.
Grilled Hoisin-Glazed Chicken Wings
If you're lucky enough to live in a place where February is grilling season, our baking-powder-and-salt technique can be used to make perfectly crispy, juicy wings over an open fire. Start your wings over indirect heat, then place them directly over the flame when you glaze them. For an Asian-inspired departure from the typical cayenne-and-butter combination, use a sweet-and-salty glaze made with hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder, and garnish the wings with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Grilled Honey Chipotle Wings
Made with three chipotle peppers and a tablespoon of adobo sauce for every half cup of honey, the glaze on these wings starts out brutally spicy. Don't worry, though—it'll caramelize on the grill, bringing out the sweetness of the honey and mellowing the heat, while still leaving a light smoky burn at the back of your mouth.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings
A flavorful spice rub of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, cayenne, and cumin infuses these wings with earthiness and heat. Once they come off the grill, we add complexity by tossing them in a Cajun-flavored sauce of Louisiana-style pepper sauce, butter, and Worcestershire.
Grilled Sriracha Hot Wings
How could the combination of Sriracha and chicken wings possibly go wrong? The rich coating we use here also incorporates honey, soy sauce, and vinegar, plus some butter for that classic Buffalo sauce texture. To double up on the Sriracha, we brush some of the sauce on after the wings have cooked over indirect heat, then apply the rest once they come off the grill.
Spicy Cumin Wings
We developed this recipe after trying the spicy cumin lamb noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods in NYC, and if you've ever eaten there yourself, you understand the unique power of combining cumin with typical Chinese spices. These wings are rubbed with a blend of cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, salt, and baking powder before grilling; as they finish cooking, we brush them with a light glaze made from soy sauce, sherry, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Grilled Spicy Chicken Wings With Soy and Fish Sauce
For savory and spicy wings with an Asian flair, we marinate these overnight in a mixture of Shaoxing wine, black pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, granulated garlic, and chili peppers. After grilling, they end up extra juicy, with incredible depth of flavor from the fish sauce. Adjust the number of chilies you use in the marinade to moderate the heat level.