Deep frying chicken wings can be messy, but becomes easier by following a few simple tips. Fresh clean oil is recommended for the best results, as reusing oil can add unwanted flavors and colors to foods. Organization and preparation, such as preparing an assembly line for coating the wings, can keep the mess under control. Placing too many wings in the fryer at once will cause the oil to bubble and spatter, making painful burns more likely.
After cooking foods in a deep fryer, oil is likely to turn darker and take on some of the flavors of these foods. This change in color and taste will pass on to anything else cooked in the oil. Using clean oil when deep frying chicken wings ensures that the only flavors come from the chicken and its seasonings.
If the oil is too cool, food not only takes longer to cook thoroughly but takes on a greasier taste. For deep frying chicken wings, most recipes recommend temperatures between 350° - 375° Fahrenheit (175° - 190° Celsius). Hotter oil results in a lighter, less greasy taste, but if the temperature gets too high, the oil will scorch and darken, giving the food a burnt taste.
Many wing recipes call for seasoning and coating the chicken before frying, often with many steps involving wet and dry ingredients. Without preparation and organization, confusion can result. An assembly line approach is the best way to keep the process under control and avoid messes. Line up ingredients and coatings in the order they are used. When wet and dry ingredients are used, the cook should handle chicken dipped in dry ingredients with one hand and wet with the other.
Coatings may not cling properly to the chicken wings if dropped into the oil immediately. Coated wings should be allowed to rest, giving the coating a chance to adhere to the skin. When preparation of the wings takes place a half hour or more in advance, resting should take place in the refrigerator.
When chicken wings are placed in the fryer, they cause the oil to bubble. If deep frying chicken wings in large batches, this bubbling can cause significant spatter. Spattering hot oil not only poses a burn risk to the cook, but spreads a thin coat of oil on nearby surfaces. Floors in particular may become slick near overloaded fryers. Cooking a few wings at a time takes longer, but reduces the risk of burns and slips.
After deep frying chicken wings, paper towels can be used to remove excess oil. Placing the wings on a few layers of paper towels allows the oil to drain off for a lighter taste. Once the oil is drained, any sauces or dry seasonings can be added and the chicken wings can be served.