Chicken/ Finger Food

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings

May 27, 2020 by Chris Collins

These Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings are baked in the oven until perfectly crispy, then doused in a homemade sticky sweet and sour sauce!

overhead shot of chicken wings stacked on rectangular slate plate

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings

As I type this post I’ve just licked my fingers, after finishing my final wing. When I tell you these are the most insanely moreish things you’ll ever eat, I truly mean it. Here’s why you’re going to LOVE these wings:

  • Texture – Perfectly crispy AND gorgeously sticky. Yes, you really can have your wing and eat it!
  • Easy – No faffing around with deep frying, these bad boys are baked until golden perfection.
  • Flavour – The flavour in the homemade sweet and sour sauce is honestly drinkable.

These wings are perfect for game day, perfect for as an appetizer and just all round great for feeding a sweet and sour craving. Heck – do you really need an excuse to whip up a batch of wings?!

closeup shot of fingers holding chicken wing garnished with spring onion and sesame seeds

Preparing Chicken Wings

Most stores/butchers will give you the wing, the whole wing and nothing but the wing. But, we don’t really want whole wing, not all intact anyway. As such, we’ll need to divide it into the following:

  • Wingette – aka the ‘flat’.
  • Drumette – easiest to eat, because you only need one hand.
  • Tip – No meat on this, we don’t need it.

To divide the wing: find the joint where each part is attached. You don’t need to chop through any tough bits and certainly don’t need to slice through bone. If you’ve got the right part, the knife should slide through easily.

Baking Powder

This is the absolute key to getting crispy baked wings. Once you’ve diced the wings, pop them in a zip lock bag with salt and baking powder. The salt will not only season the wing, but will also help draw moisture from the skin (i.e. extra crispy). The baking powder causes a reaction with any moisture on the chicken and creates tiny air bubbles, which results in that airy, bubbly texture you see on crispy chicken wings.

Ensure you are using Baking POWDER and not Baking SODA or BI-CARB SODA. Both of the latter will completely ruin the taste of the wings. Easy mistake to make though!

How to prepare chicken wings - 4 step by step photos

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

For the first time in a long time on this blog, I’m going to need you to step away from the deep fat fryer… Yes, that really did just come out my mouth.

Once you’ve coated the wings in salt and baking powder, space them out on an oiled wired rack on top of a foil covered tray. Important the rack is oiled so the wings don’t stick and also important you place foil underneath or your kitchen will smoke out. Trust me – been there.

Twice Baked Chicken Wings

We’re actually going to bake the wings twice.

The first is at a low heat, this will render down the fat. Chicken skin has a lot of fat in it, so it’s important to try and extract as much of this as possible in order for them to get crispy.

After this we’re going to crank up the heat. This will blast the skin with intense heat and leave you with extra crispy chicken wings.

How to bake chicken wings - 3 step by step photos

Sweet and Sour Sauce

A homemade sweet and sour sauce truly couldn’t be easier to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Ketchup
  • Soy Sauce + Cornstarch/Cornflour

Just simmer on medium heat until nice and thick, then combine with your wings. Simples!

From there I like to garnish with sesame seeds and some finely diced spring/green onion.

How to make sweet and sour chicken wings - 3 step by step photos

And there we have it! My top tips to getting crispy baked wings in an easy peasy sweet and sour sauce.

If you’re after another sweet and sour recipe then make sure you check out my Sweet and Sour Chicken Stuffed Spring Rolls!

For more surprisingly CRISPY baked finger foods check out these beauties too:

Crispy Baked Finger Foods

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these chicken wings shall we?!

closeup shot of chicken wing garnished with sesame seeds

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How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings (Full Recipe & Video)

closeup shot of fingers holding chicken wing garnished with spring onion and sesame seeds

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings

These Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings are baked in the oven until perfectly crispy, then doused in a homemade sticky sweet and sour sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer / Finger Food
Cuisine: American / Asian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 435kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / £2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Baking Tray & Wire Rack
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Zip Lock Bag
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Small Pot & Wooden Spoon/Whisk (for sauce)
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken Wings

  • 2lb / 1kg Chicken Wings (divided into wingette/flat & drumette)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Oil, to rub on wire rack

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/2 cup / 120g Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 cup / 60g Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Light / All Purpose Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch / Cornflour
  • Salt, to taste

To Serve

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Green/Spring Onion

Instructions:

  • Thoroughly pat your wings dry with paper towels (see blog post/video for guidance on dividing whole wings) then place in a zip lock bag. Add 2 tsp baking powder (not baking soda/bicarb soda!), 1/2 tsp salt and mix about with your hands until fully coated.
  • On an oiled wire rack above a tray lined with foiled, space out your wings skin side up. Bake at 250F/120C on the lower-middle rack for 30mins. This step is to render down the fat, not to cook them through.
  • Take them out, turn the tray around, then place in the middle-higher rack at 430F/220C until golden and crispy. This will take approximately 40-45mins, with larger wings taking up to around 50mins and smaller ones potentially slightly less. Take out the tray half way and rotate again. All ovens can be slightly different, so just be vigilant. If they start to char at all turn down the heat and lower the rack.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat add brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, pineapple juice and give it a stir until fully blended. In a small cup, combine 1 tbsp soy sauce with 1 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour until completely blended (make sure there's no lumps). Pour this into the sauce and quickly stir to combine. Simmer for a few mins until the sauce thickens, then take off heat.
  • Once the wings are cooked allow them to rest for a few mins, then combine in a large bowl with the sauce.
  • Serve by sprinkling over sesame seeds and finely diced spring onion.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Paper Towels - Really important to thoroughly dry the wings. This will remove moisture, which not only ensures the wings crisp up (as opposed to steaming from excess moisture), but also ensures the baking powder doesn't clump up and coat the wings too thick.
b) Baking Powder - Ensure it is baking powder (without aluminium sulfate) NOT baking soda or bi-carb soda. Both of these will completely ruin the wings. Flour/cornstarch not suitable replacements.
c) Oil - This is only to lubricate the wire rack so the wings don't stick. Do not use this to coat the wings themselves. I recommend an oil with a high smoking point (i.e vegetable oil) but olive oil will be fine if that's what you have.
d) Method - The twice bake of the wings is inspired/tweaked from recipetineats!
e) Calories -  Whole recipe shared between 4 people.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 435 Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.12g12%
Saturated Fat 2.144g11%
Trans Fat 0.159g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.856g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.938g
Cholesterol 129mg43%
Sodium 843mg35%
Potassium 847mg24%
Carbohydrates 35.84g12%
Fiber 1.1g4%
Sugar 30.18g34%
Protein 50.67g101%
Vitamin A 251IU5%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 169mg17%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    James
    June 9, 2020 at 8:33 am

    5 stars
    Another amazing recipe. I never would have thought oven wings could be that crispy, and the sauce was perfect! Not too tangy and not too sweet. I was worried that the chicken would go tough after being in the oven for so long, but not at all.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 9, 2020 at 10:29 am

      That’s awesome to hear, James! It’s mad how crispy they get in the oven isn’t it? And this is coming from the (self proclaimed) deep frying king himself

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