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Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

I've had inconsistent success getting my fried chicken wings crispy. I have no problem with beer battered shrimp though, so I'm wondering if it's the carbonation that yields the crispiness or the fact that i let them sit on a rack after I take them out of the oil. I've also heard that ice cold batter also ensures the crispy texture I'm looking for. Does anyone have a fail safe recipe/method for crispy fried foods?

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  1. Use peanut oil, get it hot, and don't crowd the fryer. I hope these simple suggestions help.

    1. i will definitely try to use the peanut oil...do you have any suggestions on how to apply the batter? as in flour first, then batter, then flour again? or just straight batter?

      1. A little baking powder mixed into your flour will make a big difference.

        Jim

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jim Washburn

          So true, that's my secret. Well not really a secret since I let everyone know that's what I do.

        2. Pat them dry. Make sure they're room temperature. Coat lightly with corn starch and seasonings - that's it. Cook in peanut oil. Make sure your oil is hot.

          1. If your chicken wings aren't crispy enough, it's probably caused by residual moisture escaping as steam through the breading. If you're using a batter, you're adding even more moisture. The problem with battering a dense, bone-in protein is burning the batter before the meat is cooked through. Bread don't batter. You can dust with a light coat of seasoned AP flour and get plenty of crunch and flavor. If you're looking for a thicker coating, flour > shake off excess > light egg wash > flour again.

            You need to be frying them at about 360 degrees F. The peanut oil has no effect on crispiness and you don't need it. The peanut oil has a high smoke point so it is nice to cook with at high temperatures, but it isn't necessarily flavor neutral. A Canola oil will be just fine, is flavor neutral, and is good up through 375.

            Don't use an ice cold batter. This is an old wives tale. It will lower the temperature of the oil. Cook them hot and cook them quickly. Don't crowd them as this will allow the steam to build. Small batches, 360, room to drain, and season as soon as they come out of the oil...you'll have crispy wings.

            Happy Cooking

            3 Replies
            1. re: chefhelp

              I find that Canola actually does impart a flavour while deep frying, which Peanut oil does not.

              1. re: Shazam

                agreed. and I can't stand the smell of Canola oil lingering in the air.

              2. re: chefhelp

                I just wanted to add to this post. 350-370 is curcial for deep frying. Even more crucial is the speed at which the oil heats back up to this temperature once the wings (or whatever) is dropped into the oil. Many chinese restaurants are cooking on woks that are heated by 180,000 btu sources. Most kitchen ovens do not even come close. I know mine doesn't.

                I have recently been experimenting with cooking the wings in oil heated in a wok on the stand of my turkey fryer. The fryer is 55,000 btu and is much more powerful than my kitchen oven. I have been getting excellent results deep frying, dry frying, and stir frying. I have been experimenting with this outside (also with fried rice and cumin lamb), but it seems safe enough (unlike frying a turkey) to do inside.