Balsamic-Glazed Fried Chicken Wings Recipe

If you are looking for a delightful appetizer that brings complex, upscale flavor to the table while still scratching that game-day itch for classic bar fare, look no further. These balsamic-glazed fried chicken wings deliver on every front. Whether you are making a bite to serve before a family-style Italian dinner or filling the table with snacks for the big game, these wings are a perfect choice.

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There isn't much better than a plate of steaming-hot wings, fresh and crisp from the fryer and coated in a salty, tangy, spicy sauce. In this recipe by A.J. Forget, we dredge the wings in a seasoned flour and deep fry them for a perfectly crisp exterior and a juicy bite. To transform the wings from barroom snack to gourmet delight, the wings are tossed in a glaze made with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, a touch of salt and garlic, and just enough crushed red pepper to warm your mouth. The result is an appetizer that will elevate any table, be it alongside a main course of chorizo and beef chili con carne or a heaping plate of nachos.

Gather your balsamic-glazed chicken wings ingredients

For this recipe, you will need a few pounds of chicken wings, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, and some vegetable oil (or another high-heat oil) for frying. Once the wings are broken down into drumettes and flats, you are ready to start cooking.

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Step 1: Heat the oil

Add vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and bring to 350 F.

Step 2: Make the seasoned flour

Meanwhile, stir together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt on a large plate.

Step 3: Dredge the wings, and start frying

Once oil has reached 350 F, dredge wings in seasoned flour and carefully place in the oil in batches, being careful not to crowd the pot.

Step 4: Fry the rest of the wings

Fry each batch of wings until golden on the outside and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Drain the wings and check for doneness

Transfer the fried wings to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of a wing to ensure they are cooked through (at least 165 F).

Step 6: Start making the glaze

Meanwhile, start the balsamic glaze by adding balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

Step 7: Let it thicken

Simmer glaze for 10-12 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.

Step 8: Pour the glaze on the chicken

Once the wings and glaze are done, add wings to a large bowl and pour over the glaze.

Step 9: Toss to coat

Toss wings until fully coated, then transfer to a serving platter.

Step 10: Garnish and serve

Serve hot and garnished with chopped parsley, additional crushed red pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Which balsamic vinegar should I use for balsamic-glazed fried chicken wings?

With so many varieties of balsamic vinegar — all ranging in price, quality, and flavor — on the market, picking the right one for a recipe can be a challenge. Traditionally, balsamic vinegar refers to vinegars made with reduced grape must, which is the juice of freshly pressed grapes, as well as the skins, seeds, and stems. The must is then stored in wooden barrels, often for 12 or more years, yielding a thick, syrupy, and unique vinegar that's excellent drizzled over a green salad or a plate of fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. But this traditional balsamic is far from the only choice out there.

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These days, many vinegars flying under the balsamic banner are not made by those traditional methods. Many options you might find at the grocery store are padded with wine vinegar and other ingredients to create a cheaper, but still delicious, product. For this recipe, particularly considering that the glaze requires ½ cup balsamic vinegar, we suggest using one of the less expensive options. For this glaze, we reduce the vinegar as well as add sugar, spice, and heat, which may negate some of the subtleties of the finer balsamics out there. 

What is the best temperature for frying balsamic-glazed chicken wings?

When it comes to deep frying, the correct oil temperature can make or break a dish. Too cold, and the end product will be greasy. Too hot, and the outside will burn while the inside is still raw. Generally, the ideal temperature for deep frying ranges from 325 F to 375 F. Within that range, there is a perfect temperature for whatever individual item you are cooking. This can be decided based on a number of factors — primarily how long the ingredient takes to cook through.

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When it comes to fried chicken wings, we are looking at the lower end of the frying range. Chicken wings take around 10 minutes to fry to a food-safe internal temperature of 165 F, which is a relatively long time for deep-fried foods. Because it takes chicken wings so long to cook through, they are ideally fried at around 350 F. At that temperature, the chicken has plenty of time to cook all the way through before the outside is overcooked. Cooked for around 10 minutes at 350 F, chicken wings will have a juicy interior and a beautifully crisp, golden brown exterior.

Balsamic-Glazed Fried Chicken Wings Recipe

5 (5 ratings)

These shareable wings have the classic crispy bite of the game-day appetizer, but with the upscale touch of balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and a hint of spice.

Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
servings
4
servings
plate of glazed chicken wings
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the wings
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken wings
  • For the glaze
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Optional Ingredients

  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Additional crushed red pepper, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish

Directions

  1. Add vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and bring to 350 F.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt on a large plate.
  3. Once oil has reached 350 F, dredge wings in seasoned flour and carefully place in the oil in batches, being careful not to crowd the pot.
  4. Fry each batch of wings until golden on the outside and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the fried wings to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of a wing to ensure they are cooked through (at least 165 F).
  6. Meanwhile, start the balsamic glaze by adding balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  7. Simmer glaze for 10-12 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  8. Once the wings and glaze are done, add the wings to a large bowl and pour over the glaze.
  9. Toss wings until fully coated, then transfer to a serving platter.
  10. Serve hot and garnished with chopped parsley, additional crushed red pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 1,167
Total Fat 89.3 g
Saturated Fat 13.5 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 314.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 22.5 g
Sodium 833.8 mg
Protein 51.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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