When I see organic, fresh chicken wings at the market, I tend to grab a couple of packages. Wings are inexpensive and the tastiest part of the bird, in my opinion. Who doesn’t enjoy crunchy skin and tender, moist bites of dark meat?
I’ll buy the wingettes and drumettes if available. These are wings that have the tips removed and discarded and then they are separated at the joint into 2 pieces. One piece resembles a wing and the other resembles a tiny drumstick. Each package will have approximately 16 portions.
If whole wings are all that are available, I will remove the tips and use those to make bone broth. These are very flavorful and not too fatty. I then separate the wings at the joint into wingettes and drumettes. In either case, I package 8 portions into resealable baggies and freeze them to cook in the air fryer for a fast and healthy meal.
Until recently, I have always defrosted the wings prior to air frying them. In fact, I generally recommended that in the past. However, I recently forgot to defrost my wings in the refrigerator the night before and then went straight into my office the next morning.
When I finished work, I remembered the wings and I grabbed a baggie of them out of the freezer. I considered defrosting them in the microwave. To be honest, I am somewhat microwave impaired and decided that probably might not end well. So, I decided to try to cook them in the air fryer while rock hard frozen just to see if it would render results as good as thawed or fresh air fried chicken wings.
Tips and Techniques for Air Frying Frozen Chicken Wings
I was a little dismayed that the wing portions were all stuck together when I pulled them out of the bag. They were a solid mass. I tried to separate them with a dinner knife, but they were definitely not cooperating. And frankly, it was a little dangerous as the ball slipped out of my hand a couple of times. I nixed that plan after 2 attempts.
There is no need to worry about your mass of frozen chicken wing portions. Just preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes. Oil and season the frozen wings and place them in the basket or on the crisper plate and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the wingettes and drumettes will naturally separate. Reconfigure them into a single layer and continue to cook for another 8 minutes. Flip the wings over and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until the wings are crispy and 165°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer.
You can air fry the wings without any oil or seasoning. I find that a coating of oil helps to keep the skin from sticking to the fryer basket. A little extra virgin olive oil works quite well. I also like to lightly season the wings with salt and pepper. That is because I eat them straight out of the fryer. If you intend to toss your wings in a buffalo or teriyaki sauce, you can skip the salt and pepper.
The best part about air frying chicken wings is that most of the fat drips into the bottom of the bucket. The result is crispy and lean wings.
Sauces for Crispy Chicken Wings
The classic sauce for fired chicken wings is Buffalo sauce. This is a fiery hot sauce that you toss the cooked wings in after frying. It is commonly served with a side of creamy blue cheese or ranch dressing to cool the heat. This is the Buffalo sauce recipe I like:
Buffalo Wing Sauce (Gluten-free, Keto)
- 1/4 cup (4 TBS) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup of your favorite hot pepper sauce
- 1 tsp GF Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer.
2. Place the wings into a glass or stainless steel bow. Pour the warm sauce all over and toss to coat completely.
3.Serve with plenty of napkins.
For an easy blue cheese dipping sauce, try this:
Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce (Gluten-free, Keto)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 TBS mayonnaise
- 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
- Dash of hot sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces crumbled Maytag or Gorgonzola blue cheese
1. In medium mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, and pepper. Stir in the blue cheese.
2. Place the sauce in a serving bowl or individual ramekins and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Make the sauces while cooking the chicken wings. You will have plenty of time.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings (Gluten-free, Keto, Paleo)
This recipe is for 16 wing portions. You will have to prepare these in batches. It is best that the wings are in a single layer in the air fryer basket for really crispy skin and even cooking. Leave half the portions in the freezer while cooking the first batch. You can keep the cooked wings in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- 16 frozen chicken wing portions (wingettes and drumettes)
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
Total time:30 min – Prep time:5 min – Cook time:25 min – Serves:2 people
1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
2. Place 8 of the frozen chicken wing portions in a bowl or on a plate. Coat the wings with 1/2 the olive and 1/2 the salt and pepper. Rub the oil and seasonings all over the frozen wings.
3. Place the wings on the crisper plate or in the basket of the air fryer. Close the bucket and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Open the air fryer and separate the wings into a single layer. Cook for 8 minutes.
5. Open the fryer and flip the wings over. Cook until crisp and the internal temperature reads 165°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer, approximately 7 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of 8 wings.
6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as is.
This recipe worked for me with one adjustment. I only used one layer of wings, so about 8-9 wings, and had to skip the extra 7 mins cooking time of Step 5. My wings were done cooking by then and would have burned if left for longer. Thank you for this recipe!