Baked Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wings

Yesterday I thought that it would be a great day for some buffalo wings, given the frigid temperatures and snow outside. Our family typically enjoys buffalo wings on Sunday evenings for football, unfortunately the games were all earlier in the day, but what’s to say we still couldn’t enjoy them?! This is one of my husband and kid’s favorite meal that I make. Needless to say, buffalo wings typically aren’t very healthy. Not that these are healthy, but better for you than your average fried buffalo wing. So, I thought that I would share my recipe for any who are watching what they eat, but still want to enjoy some football food for the upcoming Superbowl!

I’m sure you are asking yourself “How can she be eating buffalo wings if she is dieting?!” Well, it’s all in how you plan your day! I knew in the morning that I was going to be consuming a fairly large amount of calories in the evening. So, I made sure to get in plenty of exercise to burn some extra calories. I also really watched what I ate throughout the day and made healthy, low-calorie choices that would fill me up, such as fruit and vegetables. In addition, you would be surprised at the calorie count when you bake skin on chicken and don’t fry it. Using Franks’ Red Hot Wings sauce helps as well as it contains butter flavor so you don’t have to use butter in your sauce recipe. We really like the flavor the sauce gives.

Wing Ingredients

I start with the ingredients shown above:

  • Chicken wings/drummies (we use the brand Smart Chicken, and I use 3 packages for our family, each package contains 20 wings/drummies)
  • Canola Oil spray
  • Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce
  • Cornstarch

Preheat the over to 500 degrees. The temperature is crucial for baking wings and getting the skin really crispy. Given that you don’t add any oil other than to spray the pan, the skin will only crisp up at a high temperature.

Raw Wings

Line baking sheets with foil. You will thank me later for adding this step, it makes clean up a breeze. The wings will somewhat stick to the pan, and this will save you from unnecessary elbow grease to clean your pans!

Put a portion of the raw wings in either a large container with a lid, or a large zip top storage bag. Sprinkle cornstarch over the wings and shake until they are coated. I use about a Tbsp. of cornstarch for every 20 wings/drummies. I repeat the process covering the wings in batches to ensure they are evenly coated. Cornstarch is another key to this recipe as the cornstarch helps the skin to crisp up without oil.

Place the cornstarch covered wings/drummies on the foil lined baking sheet with the skin side down. The skin will get crisper when it is directly on the foil instead of facing up. In addition, the meat portion without skin will stick more to the pan.

Place the trays of wings/drummies in the preheated 500 degree oven. Given that I make 30 wings at a time, I have to use two trays. This means I need to use two racks in the oven. I have found that my oven doesn’t seem to heat evenly, and the tray on the bottom cooks much faster than the one on the top. Therefore, I rotate my trays from top rack to bottom rack every 10 minutes. You may not need this step if your oven heats more evenly. Bake the wings/drummies for a total of 20 minutes to start out with.

Wing Tools

Remove the trays from the oven. The two kitchen tools shown above are super handy in the following steps. I found the nylon covered tongs at Wal-Mart. Tongs are much easier to remove the wings from the pan than a spatula. I much prefer the nylon basting brush to the old-fashioned hair style, the nylon is much easier to use and I don’t get freaked out by using it after I have used it on raw meat!

Use the tongs to remove the wings/drummies from the trays. I do this a tray at a time. Place half of a tray in a large container with a lid. Drizzle your preferred amount of Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce over this portion of wings/drummies. Add the remainder of the tray to the container and coat with more sauce. Cover the container with a lid and shake until all wings are evenly coated with sauce. This is the step that my daughter loves to help with! There will most likely be a large amount of drippings from the chicken on the tray. Drain all of this off so the wings/drummies will get crispy. Spray the tray with Canola Oil spray and put the coated wings/drummies back on the tray. Once all of your trays have been coated put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes (don’t forget to rotate the trays in 10 minutes if you need to). After the second round of 20 minutes I remove one of the trays, and rotate the other tray to the other rack. My husband prefers his wings much spicier than the kids and I, so I coat his tray of wings with another coating of sauce.

Cook the wings for another 10-20 minutes until the skin on the wings have become crispy.

Baked Wings

And this is what my final product looks like! Yes, I know it is completely insane that 4 of us, 2 being children, eat 60 wings in one sitting! My husband can take down an entire tray of 30 wings on his own at times. Plus, when we have wings we don’t eat a lot of other filler stuff. We just serve them with raw celery and carrots. (Given my diet I ate several vegetables to keep myself from eating so many wings!)

My husband prefers to dip his wings in ranch dressing. I have never been one to use a lot of condiments, and never been a fan of ranch, so I eat mine plain. But he likes Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch Yogurt dressing. It has many fewer calories than regular ranch dressings, and isn’t full of a lot of nasty stuff. If you like Ranch dressing, you should check it out!

So, there you have it. My healthier version of buffalo wings, baked with Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce. Remember, high temperature oven and cornstarch are key! I hope that your family will enjoy this lighter version of wings as much as we do! Happy eating!

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