How to Perfectly Fry Chicken Wings

Learn the art of making pan-fried chicken wings with a delectable crunchy exterior and tender, juicy meat. This straightforward recipe for stovetop chicken wings requires minimal ingredients and is ready in just about 30 minutes.

The Perks of Pan-Frying

Cooking chicken wings on the stovetop without the need for deep frying is a breeze. Pan-frying chicken wings not only minimizes the mess and reduces the fat content but also delivers outstanding results. These crispy and spicy pan-fried chicken wings are ideal as an appetizer or a quick and delightful dinner option.

What You’ll Need

To whip up this dish, grab a large skillet, some wings, and a selection of spices. Feel free to use any store-bought spice mixture you prefer to expedite the cooking process. For more delectable pan-fried chicken recipes, be sure to check out our Tender Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs, Juicy Pan-Fried Chicken Breast, Cast-Iron Chicken Breast, or Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs.

If you’re interested in exploring more ways to cook wings, take a look at our guides on How to Cook Frozen Chicken Wings and How to Boil Chicken Wings.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Chicken wings, split at the joint.
  • Spices: Opt for fine sea salt or Kosher salt, black pepper, smoked and sweet paprika, garlic powder, and chili flakes.
  • Alternative spices: Feel free to experiment with any spices that suit your taste. Refer to our FAQ for more details.
  • Oil: Use frying oil with a high smoking point, such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil. Avoid olive oil.
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Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the wings:

    • If using whole wings, split them into wingettes and drumettes.
    • Find the sweet spot between the bones where you can easily slice through the joint. Hold the drumette with one hand, opening up the joint, while the wingette rests on your working surface. Slide your knife through the joint effortlessly without any resistance.
    • If you encounter any resistance, adjust your positioning by a few millimeters to the right or left of the joint. The knife should glide smoothly between the bones and through the skin.
  2. Pat the meat dry with a paper kitchen towel and place the wings in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Spice mix:

    • In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, sweet and smoked paprika, garlic powder, and chili flakes.
  4. Combine:

    • Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the meat pieces and toss them well for even coating.
  5. Pan-frying the chicken wings:

    • Heat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over high heat.
    • Add the oil and place the seasoned chicken in the skillet.
    • Reduce the heat to medium.
  6. Cook for 4-5 minutes without moving the wings to ensure the skin remains intact.

  7. Flip the wings using tongs and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for an additional 7-8 minutes before flipping them once again.

  8. Continue cooking for another 8 minutes, flipping the wings every 2 minutes to prevent excessive browning.

  9. Optional: Sprinkle with parsley for added freshness and serve immediately.

How Long to Pan-Fry Chicken Wings?

Generally, chicken wings require approximately 20 minutes to cook thoroughly. Smaller pieces will reach doneness within this time frame. However, for larger parts like drumettes, allocate a few extra minutes. To avoid excessively darkened skin, lower the heat and flip the wings more frequently.

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To ensure the chicken wings are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer (Amazon affiliate link) to check for an internal temperature of 75°C/165°F (Note 2). If they’re not done yet, continue cooking for a few more minutes before rechecking.

Expert Tips

  • It’s best to use a large pan, like a 30 cm/12-inch cast iron skillet, to accommodate all the chicken wing pieces at once. If your pan isn’t spacious enough, pan-fry the meat in batches or utilize two pans.
  • Avoid washing the chicken parts. Doing so will only spread bacteria around the sink without effectively eliminating it from the meat. Bacteria only get destroyed during the cooking process.

According to the USDA – Food Safety and Inspection Service, “Washing raw poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other food, utensils, and surfaces. This is called cross-contamination. Rinsing or soaking does not destroy bacteria. Only cooking will destroy any bacteria that might be present on fresh chicken.”

Recipe FAQ

How should I serve pan-fried chicken wings?

These wings are best served immediately, whether as an appetizer or a main course. They pair wonderfully with spicy sauce or a delectable blue cheese sauce, making them a perfect addition to your Game Day or any festive occasion.

Additionally, you can enjoy these stovetop-fried chicken wings alongside your favorite side dishes. Give our Simple White Cabbage Salad or Coleslaw, Green Salad with Yogurt Dressing, Oven Baked Potato Wedges with Chili Dip, Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, or Smashed Potatoes a try.

Looking for more chicken wing recipes?

Feel free to explore our array of tantalizing chicken wing recipes!

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