Baked crispy chicken wings sit in pickle juice marinade to make them tender and juicy. Make these crispy wings; they’re better than deep fried!
This Dill Pickle Wings recipe follows my Master Crispy Baked Chicken Wings recipe, with a few tweaks.
When you tell people that you know how to make incredibly juicy, crispy wings without deep frying them, they may not believe you. But honestly, by using one special ingredient, you can make crispy oven baked wings that are better than anything fried in oil!
We’ll get to the special ingredient that makes chicken wings crispy in a minute.
Before that, you need to know that the key to moist and juicy chicken is using a marinade. And the best chicken marinade around is dill pickle juice!
Pickle juice marinade
Marinating chicken in pickle juice? REALLY?
Yes, really! You see, pickle juice is very acidic. So, just like lemon juice, vinegar, and other acidic foods, it acts as a tenderizer for the chicken wings.
You don’t need to add anything to it, either; all you will need is the juice/brine from a big jar of dill pickles!
How to make baked crispy chicken wings
1. MARINATE THE CHICKEN
So, we already know that the first step in this recipe is marinating the chicken to make it tender and juicy. You’ll marinate them for an hour. But without deep frying, how do you get crispy chicken wings?
The answer is our special ingredient – baking powder!
Using baking powder on chicken wings
There’s a bit of food science behind why baking powder makes chicken skin crispy. It has to do with baking powder increasing the pH level, which causes the chicken skin to dry out. The drier the chicken skin is before baking, the crispier it will become in the oven.
2. COAT THE CHICKEN
After the wings marinate for an hour, you’ll remove them from the pickle juice marinade and then use paper toweling to pat them dry. Then you’ll toss them in a mixture of baking powder and spices.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some people are sensitive to the taste of aluminum, and some brands of baking powder have aluminum in them. If you are concerned about this, you will want to read the labels and buy aluminum-free baking powder.
3. TWO TEMPERATURE BAKING
Another key to making the dill pickle wings extra crispy and delicious is to oven bake them partially at a very low temperature, then finish baking them at a high temperature.
When the oven is at a lower temperature, the baking powder will continue to dry the chicken skin. As a result, when the oven temperature is increased, the skin will become very golden brown and crispy. Also, baking at a low temperature allows the fat under the skin to render down. Less fat means crispier skin!
- HOW MUCH CHICKEN WILL YOU NEED?
If you buy the chicken wings already cut (with the tips removed) then you will only need 3.5 pounds. Otherwise buy 4 pounds.
If you buy them uncut, use a sharp kitchen knife to cut the tips off. You can discard the tips, or save them to make chicken stock. Then, use the knife again to split the wing into the drumstick and flat portions. I typically serve thinking a pound of wings per person (taking into account the bone weight).
- STORING, REHEATING, AND FREEZING
Store any leftover chicken wings in an airtight container or zip top plastic bag in the refrigerator. They’ll keep well for up to 5 days.
The best way to reheat any leftovers is on a sheet pan in the oven. If you microwave them, they will become very soggy.
If you would like to freeze any of the wings for later use, store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. Before reheating, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Watch how to make crispy chicken wings below!
Dill Pickle Baked Crispy Chicken Wings
- 4 lbs chicken wings (See Note 1)
- 4 cups dill pickle juice/brine (from empty pickle jar)
- 5 tsp baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA!)
- 2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper (optional)
- PAM/Oil spray
- Place chicken in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Pour pickle juice over the top and try to ensure all chicken is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours (longer the better flavor penetration).
- Remove from fridge, rinse and pat dry.
- Heat oven to 250°F with racks in upper and lower positions. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl whisk together the baking powder, dried dill, garlic powder, salt and white pepper.
- Remove any moisture from chicken wings using a paper towel, patting dry all over.
- Place chicken wings in a large bowl or zipper lock plastic bag and add the baking powder/spice mixture. Stir to coat or seal bag and shake to coat evenly all over.
- Lay the chicken wing pieces in a single layer skin side up on a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray (PAM /Oil) in the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake on lower rack for 30 minutes (this slowly renders the fat UNDER the skin). Move wings to upper rack, increasing the temperature to 425°F and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating sheet pan if necessary for even golden brown crispiness.
- Remove from oven and rest 5 minutes. Serve with sauce of choice. I prefer Ranch dressing with chopped dill and a diced dill pickle.
- If wings are already cut (not whole, tips removed) then use 3.5 pounds. Otherwise buy 4 pounds, remove tips and discard or save for chicken stock. Then using a sharp kitchen knife, split the wing into the drumstick and flat portions. I typically serve thinking a pound of wings per person (taking into account the bone weight).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.