Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings is so simple to make with just three simple ingredients.
A hearty and flavorful dish that brings satisfaction without the overwhelming richness and heaviness
The key to these baked chicken wings
The key to these baked chicken wings is to use your own homemade flavored seasoning.
Making your own homemade flavored seasonings is easy. However, finding the perfect balance of flavors is more of an art than a science, because individual tastes vary so widely.
- The key to these baked chicken wings
- Ingredients needed to make Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
- Variations on the Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings recipe
- Equipment used when making Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
- Storage for the Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
- Top tips to know when making Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
- Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
Ingredients needed to make Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
4-5 large organic lemons, zested
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. black peppercorns, crushed
4 lbs. chicken wings, tips removed and patted dry
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
STEP 3: To prepare the lemon-pepper seasoning, wash the lemons and pat dry. Remove zest from each lemon with a microplane. While doing so, collect as much of the flavorful yellow outer layer as possible, while avoiding the more bitter white layer below.
STEP 4: Spread the zest in a thin layer on the parchment paper and place in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and shake to make sure the zest is drying evenly. Return to oven until thoroughly dried, approximately 25-30 minutes.
STEP 5: Remove dried lemon zest from the oven and increase oven temperature to 425°F.
STEP 6: Add dried lemon zest to a spice grinder or food processor along with salt and black peppercorns. Grind ingredients until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust the ratio of salt and pepper as desired.
STEP 7: In a large bowl, combine chicken wings with olive oil and 1 - 2 tablespoons of lemon-pepper seasoning and toss until evenly coated.
STEP 8: Arrange seasoned chicken wings in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not overcrowd. Place baking sheet on center rack of preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
STEP 9: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn each wing to ensure they cook evenly on all sides. Return to oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until wings are browned and crispy.
STEP 10: Remove from oven and serve immediately with sliced celery and blue cheese or ranch dressing, if desired.
Variations on the Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings recipe
Here are 10 down-to-earth variations for your Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings recipe:
- Garlic Parmesan Twist:
- Add minced garlic to the lemon-pepper marinade and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the wings before baking. It's like a flavor explosion in your mouth!
- Honey Mustard Kick:
- Mix honey and Dijon mustard into the lemon-pepper marinade for a sweet and tangy twist. It adds a whole new dimension to your wings.
- Spicy Lemon Heat:
- Amp up the heat by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the lemon-pepper mix. Perfect for those who love a little kick!
- Herb Garden Blend:
- Incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano to the marinade. It gives the wings an earthy, aromatic flavor.
- Asian Fusion Infusion:
- Swap out the lemon for lime and add a splash of soy sauce and a hint of ginger to the mix. It's a delightful Asian-inspired twist.
- Zesty Orange Surprise:
- Substitute lemon with orange zest and juice in the marinade. The citrusy burst from oranges gives a unique and refreshing flavor.
- Smoky Paprika Magic:
- Mix in some smoked paprika to the lemon-pepper seasoning. The smokiness adds depth to the flavor profile, making it a real crowd-pleaser.
- Maple Glazed Goodness:
- Combine maple syrup with the lemon-pepper marinade for a sweet and savory glaze. It's like a little piece of comfort food heaven.
- Sesame Soy Elegance:
- Introduce sesame oil and soy sauce to the mix for an Asian-inspired umami flavor. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top for an extra crunch.
- Cajun Carnival:
- Give your wings a Cajun twist by adding Cajun seasoning to the lemon-pepper mix. It's a party of flavors that will make your taste buds dance.
Feel free to mix and match these ideas or even come up with your own creative combos. Cooking should be fun, so don't be afraid to experiment and make it your own! Enjoy your culinary adventure.
Equipment used when making Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
Storage for the Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
Generally, you can store Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To maintain their freshness and quality, it's essential to store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
Top tips to know when making Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings
- Zest Matters:
- When zesting lemons, don't just focus on the yellow part; the flavor-packed oils are there. But avoid the bitter white pith like it's a bad party guest.
- Marinate, Don’t Procrastinate:
- Let those wings marinate! Give them at least 30 minutes to soak in the lemony goodness. Overnight is even better if you can swing it – it's like a flavor party in the fridge.
- Patience is a Wing Virtue:
- Before you bake, pat those wings dry. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness, and we want these babies to be crispy like a perfect French fry.
- Space Them Out:
- Give your wings some breathing room on the baking sheet. Crowded wings lead to steam, and steam leads to sad, not-so-crispy skin. Nobody wants that.
- Flip Like a Pro:
- Halfway through baking, flip the wings. It's like giving them a tan on both sides. This ensures an even crispiness that will make your taste buds do a happy dance.
- Rack Attack:
- If you've got a baking rack, use it. Elevating the wings allows air to circulate, making them crispier than a fall morning.
- Broil for the Win:
- In the final stretch, kick it up a notch by broiling for a couple of minutes. Watch them closely – we want a golden glow, not a charred disaster.
- Rest, Don’t Rush:
- Once out of the oven, resist the temptation to dive in immediately. Let the wings rest for a few minutes. It allows the juices to redistribute, keeping them juicy and flavorful.
- Garnish Game:
- Before serving, sprinkle some fresh lemon zest or chopped parsley on top. It's like the finishing touch on a masterpiece – visually appealing and flavor-boosting.
- Dip Like You Mean It:
- Have some killer dipping sauces on standby. Whether it's a classic ranch, tangy blue cheese, or a spicy aioli, the right dip can elevate your wing experience.
Remember, cooking is an adventure, not a chore. So, have fun, experiment, and enjoy the delicious journey of making your Lemon-Pepper Baked Chicken Wings!
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