While frying is the more common method of cooking chicken wings, baking them is a healthier option. If you choose to bake your wings, a cast iron skillet is an excellent choice to cook them in the oven. Cast iron skillets evenly distribute and retain heat better than any other type of pan, producing well-browned wings with a crisp skin. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet, one that has retained a lot of cooked-in oils from food over time, will also be nonstick.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and pat dry the chicken wings thoroughly. The dryer they are, the crispier they will become when you cook them.
Cut whole chicken wings in half at the joint with a sharp chef's knife or kitchen shears, if you prefer. This creates two pieces, the wingette and the drummette. You do not have to cut whole wings into two pieces, however. You can keep the large and whole. Either way, cut off the tip of the wings as well, as they burn easily.
Season the wings lightly with salt and pepper. If you are not saucing them, you can add additional spices, such as garlic and chili powder to taste.
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Prepare and toss the wings in a wing sauce, if you are making a sauce. For a classic Buffalo wing sauce, combine 2 to 3 parts hot sauce to 2 parts butter, depending on your heat preferences.
Heat an equal amount of butter and vegetable oil in your cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the wings to the pan. Pour most of the remaining sauce over the chicken wings if you are saucing them. Cover the skillet with foil.
Place the covered cast-iron skillet into the oven and let the wings cook for about 45 to 50 minutes, flipping and basting them occasionally using tongs and a basting brush, respectively. You can brush unsauced wings with melted butter for more flavor. The wings should be glistening and the sauce should be bubbling when they're almost done.
Remove the foil from the skillet and turn the oven to broil. Broil the wings to brown them for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. The wings should be lightly browned and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each wing should read at least 165 F when they are ready. Serve hot.
Make a sweet and savory Asian sauce for your wings by combining Thai chili sauce with soy sauce, crushed garlic and minced ginger.
Cast iron skillets get extremely hot in the oven and are heavy. Use oven-safe mitts and pot holders -- and both hands -- to safely remove your skillet from the oven.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.