Here’s a good take on a Food & Wine recipe, whose deliciousness lies in the maple-bacon sauce. I think you could get away with not deep-frying these wings (think air fryer) and have just a good of an outcome, but the chicken may not be as crispy.
If you do fry them, you may want to dry dredging the wings in corn or potato starch instead of in flour. This will make the chicken a little crispier than using flour—a trick from all of the different Asian fried chicken recipes.
And since you’re going through the effort of frying the chicken, why not use a batter instead of just flour or starch? There are so many ways to make these wings delicious.
One last thing: the original recipe calls for rinsing the chicken under water. Do. Not. Do. This! I’ve read several articles that mock “chicken washing” for the ridiculous step that it is. For one, you’re cooking the chicken in 375-degree oil to an interior temperature of 165 degrees. The bacteria on chicken cannot live through that. For two, in rinsing your chicken, you’re going to just spread chicken bacteria (Campylobacter or Salmonella) all over the inside of your sink. Not the best move.
What you’ll need
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 0.5-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 0.5 cup ketchup
- 0.5 cup maple syrup
- 0.25 cup applesauce
- 2T soy sauce
- 1T apple cider vinegar
- 1T brown sugar
- 2 pounds chicken wings (split)
- Kosher or sea salt (to taste)
- Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or use corn starch to make the chicken more crispy
- Vegetable oil
What to do
Cook the chopped bacon until crispy over medium heat in a medium nonstick frypan, then add the garlic and cook for about a minute more.
Whisk in the ketchup, maple syrup, applesauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up to the degree that you want.
Now for the wings: season the chicken with salt and pepper then dredge the wings in flour or corn starch, shaking off any excess. Set aside.
In whatever vessel you’re using to safely fry the chicken, heat the oil to about 375°. Fry the wings in small batches until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oil with long tongs or chopsticks allowing the oil to drip off before placing on a metal rack or paper towels to drain.
When all the wings are cooked, toss them in the maple-bacon sauce and serve warm/hot.