Sweet & Spicy Cajun Wings

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I made these wings for our Superbowl eats, and they were gone in a flash!  When I was planning our menu, I knew wings would be at the top of the list.  Hoping to avoid deep frying, I decided to oven fry the wings.  There was only one problem.  In the past, I’ve had pretty mediocre results oven frying.  The flavor was certainly there, but, the wings lacked the crispy skin they would normally have if they had been deep fried.  I remembered an article I read a while ago, that went into great scientific detail about how to achieve crispy oven fried wings.   I thought it was interesting, and I was intrigued that the wings would be crispy without an ounce of extra oil.  [article here]

The article was pretty long, so,  I’ll paraphrase if it’s okay.  Basically, step one was leaving the wings uncovered in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the skin to lose some moisture before baking.   Step two, was adding baking powder to the spice rub to change the ph balance, thus rendering fat and creating a crispy skin.  The end result would be crispy oven fried wings.  You know what?  It actually worked quite well!  So, we enjoyed crispy oven fried wings basted in a sweet and spicy sauce without having to pull out the deep fryer.  I was able to prepare the wings and sauce, and enjoy the game with my family.  After all, that’s what it’s all about, right?  This is what I did…

For the wings you’ll need:
4 lbs wing portions
2-3 Tbsp Cajun seasoning [I used Mr. Pete’s, use more or less to your taste]
1 Tbsp baking powder
For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups hot sauce
4 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup Annie Chuns Korean Sweet & Spicy Sauce [see cook’s note]
1/2-1 tsp Cajun seasoning

To prep the wings:  Mix together the seasoning blend [Cajun seasoning plus baking powder]  and rub onto all sides of the wings.  Lay the wings in a single layer on a pan and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.  

To prepare:  Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spritz with cooking spray.  [I usually cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up]  Arrange the wings in a single layer on the baking sheet, and spritz the top side with cooking spray, then lightly sprinkle with additional Cajun seasoning.  Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes, then turn and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the juices run clear. 

After the wings are cooked through, increase the oven temperature to broil.  Brush the wings with the sauce, and broil on each side for 2-3 minutes until they begin to char.  Remove to a platter, brush with additional sauce and serve.  Use leftover sauce on the side.  Yield: 4 lbs wings

To make the sauce:  While the wings are cooking, mix together the sauce ingredients. For a time saver, the sauce can be made ahead, and reheated, if you like. Simmer the sauce over low heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan until reduced by approximately 1/3.

Cook’s note:
Annie Chuns Korean Sweet & Spicy Sauce is located in the Asian section of most grocery stores. It looks like this:

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  1. says

    Melissa I have actually done the baking powder thing with the wings and it really does work. Thanks for the reminder. And I’ll be looking for the sauce in my Asian aisle. I haven’t seen it yet!

  2. says

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? I will always use this technique from now on. Yes, you must find the Korean Sweet & Spicy sauce you’ll love it! Hugs, Melissa

  3. says

    That really depends on what Cajun spice you choose to use. The Mr. Pete’s that I used has a nice level of heat that suits our taste. So, it’s really up to you.

  4. Dorothy says

    When I make my wings, I put flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and lots of paprika in a plastic bag and coat the wings with this mixture. Shake on some Frank’s hot sauce and bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or so. I’m not a really hot-hot person so this is fine for me. But, I may get bold enough to try this. Sounds very similar to mine.

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