A sweet, citrusy brine and a zesty dry rub combine to create baked wings that are both crispy and juicy.
These wings get their flavour base from the wheat beer–infused brine and then bake up perfectly crispy — no frying required — when tossed in a dry rub that includes a surprise ingredient (baking powder!). Don’t leave out the lemon wedges for serving: The hit of acid makes the wings’ flavour extra special. A typical pub serving of wings is one pound, or 450 g.
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cool water
1 cup (250 mL) citrus wheat beer
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh orange juice (1 to 1 1/2 oranges)
Half orange, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 tbsp (30 mL) + 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, divided
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice (about 1/2 large lime)
Half lime, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, smashed
5 black peppercorns
1.36 kg chicken wings (individual wingette and drumette pieces)
1 tbsp (15 mL) + 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest (about 1 lime)
3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) garlic powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 lemon, cut in wedges
Combine water, beer, orange juice, orange slices, 2 tbsp (30 mL) salt, brown sugar, lime juice, lime slices, garlic and peppercorns in a large non-reactive bowl. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
In a small bowl, combine baking powder, lime zest, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt to make dry rub. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place 1 large or 2 small wire racks on top of foil. Set aside.
Drain chicken and return to bowl, discarding any solids from marinade. Fill bowl with enough cold water to cover wings. Submerge and gently agitate to release any leftover salt, then strain. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and transfer to a clean large bowl.
Drizzle chicken with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle dry rub onto chicken and, using hands, toss until chicken is coated.
Place chicken in a single layer on wire rack(s), leaving a small amount of space between each piece. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 15 minutes. Flip once more and bake until golden and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.