Fried chicken is a favorite dish in many cultures worldwide. The contrast between the crisp exterior and steaming, juicy interior is a pleasure when the chicken is prepared well. Unfortunately, the steam from the hot chicken will quickly soften the crisp coating unless the wings are handled carefully. The best method to prevent this is to ensure that the chicken has warm air circulating around it, to prevent the steam from condensing in the outer coating.
Choose a wire rack large enough to hold all of the wings you'll be frying. Place it over a baking sheet, to catch any dripping oil.
Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, usually 175 to 200 degrees F. Place the baking sheet and wire rack in the oven.
Fry the chicken wings as you normally would, according to your favorite recipe. As the wings come out of the fat, allow them to drain for a few seconds, and then place them on the rack in the oven.
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Repeat for each succeeding batch, until all the wings are cooked. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, transfer the chicken wings to a large platter or basket, and serve immediately.
Chicken can be held this way for up to 30 minutes with no appreciable loss of quality. After that, it will begin to dry out.
- "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold S. McGee; 2004
Fred Decker is a trained chef, former restaurateur and prolific freelance writer, with a special interest in all things related to food and nutrition. His work has appeared online on major sites including Livestrong.com, WorkingMother.com and the websites of the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle; and offline in Canada's Foodservice & Hospitality magazine and his local daily newspaper. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.