Make Ahead

Zesty Italian Wings

September 22, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 42 minutes
  • Serves 3 or more
Author Notes

This was dinner tonight, served alongside a Caprese salad. The idea for this dish came to me from Andrew Carmellini’s notes on cooking chicken from one of my favorite books, The Flavor Bible. Brining is key here – don’t skip that step. It produces really tender, fall-off-the-bone meat. I like to keep the wing tips on. My favorite parts are those crispy crunchy bits - brings out my inner cavewoman. But feel free to trim yours if you prefer. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

Mrslarkin's Zesty Italian Wings are amazing! First of all, the brining sounded like it would be a pain, but it was really easy to do, and I put the wings in the brine while I was making the marinade. The marinade looked beautiful with the flecks of green from all the herbs and the red from the red pepper flakes (which I cut by about half because we don't like things really hot). I let the wings marinate overnight. Cooking was easy and clean-up a snap with the foil-lined baking sheet. I broiled the wings for 2 minutes on each side. I made the sauce but didn't pour it on--we used it for dipping instead. It was delicious, we were dipping bread in it and spreading it on our corn on the cob. (I recommend keeping the butter sauce on the side.) This is a wonderful way to prepare chicken, and I can see using the marinade again for roast chicken--it was just really good. I highly recommend this as an Editors' Pick. - drbabs —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I use a mix of oregano, rosemary, parsley)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, for the marinade
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, for the brine
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at the joint
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or more to taste (we like Cholula)
  1. For the marinade, heat the oil and garlic until warm. Add herbs, crushed red pepper, lemon juice and salt. Mix. Set aside. You’ll want to reserve 2 tablespoons of this mixture later. Don’t forget!
  2. In a pot big enough to hold the chicken wings, mix the hot water and honey until dissolved. Add the cold water and salt and stir until most of the salt has dissolved. Add the chicken wings and brine for 30 minutes, in or out of the fridge.
  3. Remove wings from brine and place on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan. Let wings dry thoroughly, patting with paper towels if necessary.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade for later and pour the rest in a gallon-sized zipper freezer bag. Add the wings. Seal the bag tightly. Gently massage and mush the marinade around all the wings. Place bag in fridge for several hours, or overnight. If you’re at the fridge now and then, turn the bag, and give it another massage.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove bag of wings from fridge while oven is preheating.
  6. Lightly spray a cooling rack with cooking spray and place onto a heavy-duty-foil lined sheet pan. Place wings in a single layer onto the rack. Roast wings for 30 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and crisp, turning wings and rotating pan every 10 minutes or so. If necessary, broil wings with the oven door ajar for a minute or two to crisp the skin. Watch them carefully, or you'll have zesty burnt wings for dinner.
  7. Mix together the reserved marinade, melted butter and hot sauce. Place hot wings in a large serving bowl and toss with butter mixture.
  8. Dig in!
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    Andre Britton

12 Reviews

Rocky March 3, 2021
Please, and don't think me severe but... chicken wings are used to make broth / soup in Italy. There is nothing Italian about this recipe at all.
Andre B. January 18, 2019
Great for the Superbowl and any sport event.
Delanet June 28, 2018
Double the amount of wings and use about four pounds (2 packages) of wings ( the recipe only calls for two lbs.). Clip off the wingtips attached to the wings, since they will burn.
Do not cut the wings in half.

It’s better to let the wings marinate overnight, if time permits. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on wings just before placing in the oven. Cook at 420 degrees using convection roasting setting. Spritz the baked wings with oil prior to placing under the broiler. Broil 1.5 minutes on side 1. To increase crispness, flip the wings and broil the other side for 30-40 seconds.

The seasoned butter can actually be made on
day 2.

Use 1/3 bottle of ranch dressing mixed with a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and stir in some fresh chopped dill.
maggiesara March 18, 2014
These were just great. I loved'em fresh out of the oven, but I loved them even more the next day, when they had soaked in the glaze overnight and become especially delicious. I have another packet of wangs in the freezer, and I'm defrosting them right now, to make another batch.
mrslarkin March 18, 2014
Thanks for letting me know, maggiesara. So glad you liked them!
EmilyRose February 8, 2012
very good, we enjoyed these wings for super bowl.....did cut back on the red pepper flakes for the grand children, still think they would not have been over bearing if we had used what it called for.
mrslarkin February 8, 2012
That's great to hear EmilyRose. Thanks for letting me know.
Lizthechef September 22, 2010
Way to go, cave-woman! As always, your flavors are perfectly in sync...Thumbs up!
Lizthechef September 22, 2010
Thanks again for turning me on to The Flavor Bible!
mrslarkin September 23, 2010
Thanks! Glad you're enjoying The Flavor Bible - it's gotta be my most used "cook" book.
adamnsvetcooking September 22, 2010
Wow! How I would love to be over for dinner at your house tonight ;) Great recipe!!
mrslarkin September 22, 2010
Thanks so much, adamnsvetcooking!! It was very yummy!