Surely one of your new year’s resolutions was to finally face your deep-frying fears head on and become the person who scoffs in the face of hot oil-induced panic, right? If not, remember that January 1st is a completely arbitrary time to make resolutions and there’s nothing but societal norms stopping you from making some impromptu mid-February resolutions (like “stop being such a baby and just learn to fry things already”). The reason I bring up frying is because I’m not going to sit here (who am I kidding, lie here, in my bed, at 1:30 pm on a Sunday) and tell you that you can make comparable chicken wings through oven-baking alone. Nope, not a thing. If you want those craggy-edged, crispy, saucy wings that normally accompany a trip to your favourite bar and several rounds of beer, you must (must!) fry. Unlike the fried chicken post, I have given you no outs today – you either fry or you continue eating wings outside of the comfort of your own home. I know which choice I’m making, and it’s the one that doesn’t require pants (no, wait, yes it does – please don’t use hot oil without being properly clothed – that’s a terrible choice!).
If you’re still intrigued, ask yourself what kind of wings suit your fancy. Do you like going the classic hot wings route and devouring those meaty little suckers with plenty of creamy dip and a crunch of celery to make you feel virtuous? Or do you want something a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and a lot sticky? Something with a southeast Asian lean, garnished with a mountain of different textural experiences (sliced scallions! cilantro leaves! toasted garlic!). You know you’ll be firing up that oil pot either way, so at least make it worthwhile by picking a flavour that resonates deeply within your hungry little soul.