I have a fear of deep frying. The idea of a large pot or wok filled with burning hot oil in my own kitchen makes me very uncomfortable. Part of it is about how wasteful it seems to use so much oil just for the mere act of deep frying. Then there’s also the idea of the splatter that bothers me when it comes to cleaning up. And we all know that oil stains on clothes are extremely unforgiving. Oil burns can also be unforgiving, as well.
So the idea of “oven-fried” chicken wings sound pretty tempting to me: the idea is to dry out the chicken wings completely in the fridge overnight with baking powder and a little salt, then crank up the heat very high in your oven so that the chicken wings’ own fat crisps them up. Then, you toss them in a homemade toasted spice mixture.
It was a great idea… until our fire detector went off because of the amount of smoke that came out of the oven due to the chicken fat dripping and burning, not to mention the amount of fat splatter that happened inside the oven. The splatter was so bad and literally all over every surface in the inside of the oven that I had to cover the entire inside of the oven in a thick baking soda-water paste overnight, and then remove all the oven racks and soak them in my bath tub. I never thought I’d have to wash dishes in my own bath tub before.
That $13 I spent on the 4.5 pounds of chicken wings seemed like a good deal. And then it wasn’t when I had to deal with this multi-day mess and cleaning.