In the mood for some chicken wings but don’t have an oven? Or are you looking for a healthier fried chicken recipe in which you can control the type of oil used? Then these pan-fried chicken wings are for you! Delicious optional garlic butter sauce recipe included. Gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, keto.
Are you a big fan of the crispiness of deep-fried chicken wings, let’s say from somewhere like Buffalo Wild Wings? That crunch is so great, isn’t it?! But maybe you aren’t the biggest fan of the oil they use for frying (rancid omega 6 city!), but still want to consume something as similar as possible while feeling better about your health.
I know I fall into this category, so I thought it was time to try making my own version!
This pan-fried chicken wings recipe is perfect for us casual cooks who don’t keep things such as deep fryers lying around. All you need here is some good old coconut oil and a heavy bottomed pan, such as a cast iron skillet.
Why coconut oil for frying?
Coconut oil is a mainly saturated fat that has a smoke point of approximately 350F (175 C). This means that if the oil exceeds this temperature, it will begin to smoke and exhibit an off, smokey taste.
While the smoke point may be lower than some vegetable oils (which tout around a 400F smoke point), I do not recommend these for frying or high-heat cooking. Most of them are polyunsaturated, which means that they can oxidize very easily.
In fact, most vegetable oil is already oxidized by the time you purchase it in the grocery store, since vegetable oils can easily oxidize when exposed to light, before you even heat them!
What type of coconut oil?
I recommend frying with refined coconut oil, unless you’re going for a dessert with a coconutty taste. Refined coconut oil has a neutral taste, and will not impart a sweet taste into the food. This is why it’s great for all-around, I use it for pretty much all my cooking.
Ok, I’m ready to make some wings!
Great, let’s get started! There really isn’t anything complex about these. The only thing I do recommend is having a thermometer that is safe up to hot temperatures. It can be difficult to know whether your oil is about to start smoking, and once it happens, the food will taste smokey.
You want to keep the temperature in the optimal range, where the wings will cook fast and get crispy. I recommend between 325F and 335F. Now this can take some trial and error to hit this range, especially if you are flying blind without a thermometer.
It’s still possible to do it without a thermometer though! I recommend getting the oil just to a point where when a drop of water hits it, it starts to sizzle. After this point, you want to keep it from getting much hotter. Don’t increase the heat more, or it could begin to smoke.
While the oil is heating up, dry off your chicken wings with a paper towel. They will sizzle less and crisp up better if the skin is nice and dry.
Once you reach this temperature range and the oil is nice and sizzley, you want to gently add in the chicken wings. Be careful not to splatter the oil! Simply watch the wings closely until they are a nice golden brown. You will likely need to flip them over at some point, unless your oil is fairly deep.
Once done, place them on a clean paper towel to dry, then toss them into a bowl. You can top them with the incredible garlic butter sauce I mention below (HIGHLY recommend!), or your favorite sauce of any kind.