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Crispy Air Fryer Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce

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Looking for a healthier way to enjoy your favorite chicken wings? Look no further than this recipe for crispy air fryer chicken wings! With crispy skin, juicy tender meat, and a delicious sweet and tangy sauce, these wings are sure to become a family favorite. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chicken wings are one of my favorite things to cook because they’re so fun to eat. I’ve shared many methods for creating crispy wings in the past, such as oven baked crispy wings and double fried crispy wings. But since I discovered the air fryer method, I’ve been using it constantly and there’s no looking back! It does not require any oil at all and it’s so much faster than the oven baking method. The result is super crispy wings with beautiful golden skin and tender juicy meat. I’ve shared a sweet and tangy sauce in this recipe to go with these wings. But feel free to change up the sauce according to your taste!


The key ingredient for crispy air fryer wings

The secret ingredient for extra crispy wings in the air fryer is baking powder. 

Baking powder is slightly alkaline. This alkalinity breaks down the proteins in the chicken skin more quickly, which helps to draw out moisture. Less moisture means drier skin, which leads to a crispier texture when cooked.

It is a leavening agent that releases carbon dioxide gas when heated. The gas creates small bubbles in the batter or coating, which creates a lighter and more airy texture.

Baking powder often contains cornstarch, which is a drying agent. Cornstarch absorbs moisture from the chicken skin, further creating a dry surface that crisps up well when cooked.

The sauce

I used Thai sweet chili sauce as the base ingredient, with the addition of soy sauce, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine and lime juice to create a more complex and balanced sauce. I also used plenty of green onion and ginger to give the sauce fragrance and umami. The sauce is sweet and tangy once cooked. But you can add a touch of your favorite hot sauce to further spice things up!

Mise en place

When you’re ready to cook, your table should have:

Chicken mixed with baking powder and salt

Mixed sauce

Chopped aromatics

How to make crispy air fryer wings

Making crispy air fryer wings is super quick and easy.

Rub the wings thoroughly with salt and baking powder. Allow to marinate if you have time.

Air fry the wings without overlapping.

Let the wings cool off a bit after air frying.

Cook the aromatics slightly to release fragrance.

Thicken the sauce.

Mix the wings with the sauce and serve.

How to serve crispy air fryer wings

In this recipe, I coat the wings with the sauce and serve them immediately, to make sure the wings remain crispy. If you don’t plan to serve them right away, I would set the cooked sauce on the side and mix the wings with it right before serving. You can also serve the sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.

I enjoy serving some hot sauce and extra lime wedges on the side. A freshly squeezed lime adds more tangy flavor to the wings and balances out the sweetness. The hot sauce works beautifully in this recipe, as well, if you like a spicy taste.

These crispy wings are delicious even by themselves and they are great with any sauce. Feel free to replace the sweet chili sauce with your favorite sauce, such as buffalo sauce, ranch, garlic parm, and more.

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Crispy Air Fryer Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce

Looking for a healthier way to enjoy your favorite chicken wings? Look no further than this recipe for crispy air fryer chicken wings! With crispy skin, juicy tender meat, and a delicious sweet and tangy sauce, these wings are sure to become a family favorite. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}To make the recipe gluten free, use tamari to replace soy sauce, and use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.

Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: AppetizerCuisine: FusionKeyword: homestyle

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutesCook Time: 20 minutes minutes

IngredientsChicken1 lb (450 g) chicken wings1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon saltSauce1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon rice vinegar1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (Optional)Juice from 1/4 of a lime , and extra lime wedges to serve with1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)1 tablespoon minced ginger2 green onions , sliced
InstructionsThoroughly pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Transfer to a big bowl. Add the salt and baking powder. Mix evenly with your hands. (*Footnote 1)Preheat air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the chicken wings in the air fryer tray without overlapping. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping the wings once in the middle, then flipping them back at the 10-minute mark. Keep air frying for another 5 to 10 minutes (*Footnote 2), or until the skin is golden and crispy. Test the doneness of the wings by inserting a paring knife into the thickest part of the wings, and the juice should run clear. Transfer the chicken to a big plate to cool slightly before mixing the sauce.Mix the Thai sweet chili sauce, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, and lime juice together in a small bowl.(Option 1) Heat peanut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the ginger and green onion. Stir a few times to release the fragrance. Pour in the mixed sauce. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.Add back the air frier wings and stir immediately to coat well. Then transfer everything to a serving platter. Serve immediately with lime wedges.(Option 2) You can also cook the sauce according to step 4, then transfer the sauce to a small bowl. Mix the sauce with the wings right before serving, or serve the sauce on the side as a dipping sauce. This option yields crispier wings if you’re not serving them immediately.
You can directly cook these wings without marinating them and still get very good results. However, if you have time, you can marinate the wings in the fridge up to overnight. The baking powder will further draw moisture out of the wings and create an even better result.
Depending on the size of the wings and the type of air fryer you use, the cooking time can vary quite a bit. I use a Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven, which has a higher output than most air fryers. So I usually use the low end of the cooking time. You should always observe the doneness of the wings during the cooking process and adjust the time accordingly.

NutritionServing: 1serving, Calories: 216kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.2g, Protein: 12.3g, Fat: 9.9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 978mg, Potassium: 181mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 12.5g, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

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