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Crispy Chicken Wings with Buffalo and Ranch Dipping Sauces

These wings are made crispy in the oven instead of deep frying and are delicious with either “hot” (Buffalo) or “cool” (Ranch) dipping sauce.

Of all grocery items that have risen in price and unavailability recently, chicken wings are perhaps the worst. Often, they cannot be found at all. Many restaurants are paying two or three times the pre-pandemic cost of wings, and there seems no end in sight. In order to beat the high cost of wings consistently, you need to buy your wings whole. There are two places where I can reliably find whole wings for under $3.50/pound in Florida. has a 2.5-pound bag of whole chicken wings for $7.45, or $2.98/pound (they deliver free to members nationwide). Walmart sells family sizes of whole wings, at around 5 pounds, for $3.18/pound. If you don’t mind buying in bulk and freezing, Sam’s Club also has fresh whole wings intermittently, in 8-10 pounds packages, for $2.88/pound. Wherever you buy them, you will need to separate the drumette from the flat and save the tips for your stock pot. I find that 2.5 pounds of whole wings make an acceptable number of drumettes and flats for 3-4 people. (A serving is 4.5 ounces, or 4 wings, according to Consumer Reports but I personally would double that.)

This recipe is inspired by Chef Jessica Gavin, who advocates cooking chicken wings dusted with baking powder in the oven to "crisp" them, rather than deep frying. I am completely sold on this method, since it produces a better, lighter, cheaper wing that is much healthier.

Ingredients ($11.85 total)

  • 2.5 pounds of fresh or frozen whole or sectioned chicken wings ($7.45,

  • 2 t. baking powder ($0.10)

  • 1/2 t. onion powder ($0.10)

  • 1/2 t. garlic powder ($0.10)

  • 1 t. salt

  • 1/2 t. pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 4T butter, melted ($0.60)

  • 1/2 c. hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot or Louisiana) ($0.50 for Louisiana, Walmart)

  • 2 t. Worcestershire Sauce ($0.10)

  • 1 t. white vinegar ($0.10)

Ranch Dipping Sauce (or substitute

bottled dressing)

  • 1/2 c. sour cream ($ 0.50, Aldi)

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise ($0.75, Aldi)

  • 1/4 c. buttermilk ($0.15, Walmart)

  • 1 T lemon juice ($0.40, Aldi)

  • 1/2 t. onion powder ($0.10)

  • 1/2 t. garlic powder ($0.10)

  • 1/2 t. dried parsley or 1 t. fresh parsley ($0.10)

  • 1/2 t. dried dill ($0.10)

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Thaw your wings, if they are frozen. Separate wings into drums and flats, save wing tips for stock pot (put in a Ziploc bag and put in the freezer for later).

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dry the chicken wings well with paper towels. Mix spices and baking soda in bowl and add wings. shake and stir to evenly cover wings. The baking soda will cause the wings to “crisp” in the oven as long as they are placed on a rack which allows air to circulate. Place a rack inside a sheet pan and place the wings on the rack.

3. Bake your wings for 50-55 minutes, turning the wings once, at 30 minutes.

4. Melt butter for Buffalo Sauce. Add all other ingredients. Warm the mixture but do not boil it.

5. Whisk together all ingredients for ranch dressing. Alternatively, you can use bottled ranch dressing.

6. Cut up celery and carrot sticks, if you are serving.

7. Take wings out, dress with Buffalo Sauce, retaining some for dipping.

8. Serve with veggie sticks and ranch, or with purchased blue cheese dressing. This meal pairs really well with chips and salsa as well.

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