Party guests will go wild over these crispy baked wings with Santa Fe Sauce. Wings are baked then tossed in a combination of hot pepper sauce, and Asian sweet chile sauce, creating an exciting flavor that’s a bit sweet and just right spicy. And learn this unique no-fuss oven roasting method to keep baked wings nice and crunchy.
Way back when, I used to make quite a production out of preparing chicken wings. Flouring, deep frying, draining, then tossing them in a large bowl covered as securely as I could with foil and then shaking the dickens out of them to coat with hot wing sauce.
That is how I watched the wing shops do them. What a delicious mess.
I believe about the 100th time I spent over an hour cleaning up, I swore off the frying method for grilled wings and a quest to find an oven roasted chicken wings method that would save my sanity.
A method that would keep those wings nice and crispy, just like we all like them. And without the mess.
These baking powder chicken wings are the answer to your party dreams. Let’s take a look.
Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe
- Simply stated, everyone loves chicken wings, it’s the perfect crowd pleasing, game-day appetizer.
- This method creates crispy baked wings that are nice and crunchy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside.
- These baking powder wings are pretty much hands off, until you’re ready to dip them in Ranch Dressing.
- You’ll get everyone’s attention with this addictive Santa Fe Sauce. Unique and delicious.
- You’re learning a new cooking technique and secret, baking powder helps draw out the moisture in the skin of the chicken. Less moisture equals a crispier baked wing.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Rich, red, sweet, spicy … you’ll love the vibrant flavor of this Santa Fe Sauce and this method for crispy wings in the oven.
- Chicken Wings: 3 pounds chicken wing pieces.
- Hot Sauce: Since this is a Southwestern chicken wings recipe, use your favorite Mexican hot sauce rather than a Buffalo Wings sauce. We like Cholula Hot Sauce here.
- Chili Sauce: Asian chili sauce is a combination of sweet, spicy, tangy and savory. It also may be labeled Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. Make sure you purchase a product that is labeled “sweet” as opposed to chili sauce labeled Garlic Sauce. There is a substantial difference in flavor and heat level. Thai Kitchen brand makes a sweet sauce is readily available at most stores.
- Baking Powder: Aluminum free works best for flavor.
- Chili Seasoning: A powder that is a combination of several spices. Chili seasoning is what you use to season chili soup.
- Chile Powder: Chile powder is a single blend where a certain type of dried chile peppers are ground to powder state. A New Mexico Chile Powder is preferred for this recipe, or Ancho Chile Powder works well here.
- Dry Rub: Choose a bbq flavored dry rub. Or a homemade meat seasoning will work here.
- Salt: Use Kosher salt please. Kosher salt is preferred by chefs because it penetrates food better and gives any dish a more pure salty flavor. Save the sea salt for the table to adjust flavor.
- Butter: Butter is a staple ingredient for any chicken wing sauce. It helps the sauce stick to the meat and brings an added buttery flavor.
- Ranch Dressing: These chicken wings are pure Southwestern in nature. So choose Ranch Dressing for your dipping sauce. It just makes sense.
How To Make Crispy Oven Baked Wings
You will need to start the process a few hours in advance. Just place the chicken wings in a large bowl, sprinkle on some salt and baking powder. Stir to coat the wings, then refrigerate for a couple of hours. The rest is a breeze.
Purchasing pre-cut chicken wings is an ideal time saver for this recipe. Costco sells a large bag of frozen drumettes and wingettes that are of good quality. Just thaw them before starting this recipe.
I don’t have a lot of freezer space, so I buy a 3 pound package of full chicken wings at the super market which means you have to separate the drumette, the wingette and the wing tip.
The drumettes and wingettes are used in chicken wing recipes. When you spread the whole chicken wings apart, you can easily see the joints and where to cut. Using a sharp knife, separate the three pieces and toss out the wing tips. (The smaller piece on the right)
- Step 1: Using a paper towel, pat the wings dry then place wing pieces in a large bowl. Use Baking Powder: Sprinkle on baking powder and stir to coat all of the wings. Place the wings in the refrigerator and let them rest for 2 hours.
- Step 2: Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle on meat seasoning. A dry BBQ rub works well here, or you can use a homemade meat seasoning. Stir to coat.
Step 3: Place the wings on a large rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. This is important because the rack allows air to circulate around the wings and also keeps them up and out of any liquid that accumulates in the pan during cooking. And speaking of that liquid, line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
- Step 4: Bake the wings for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. After 30 minutes, turn up the oven heat to 400. Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until wings are crispy brown. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking after about 40 minutes. Starting the wings at a lower temperature will help them cook more evenly before crisping at 400 degrees.
- Step 5: While the wings are baking, make the Santa Fe sauce by combining sauce ingredients. Use that same large bowl that you’ve thoroughly washed in hot soapy water to remove chicken bacteria.
- Step 6: Using a whisk, stir the sauce well to combine.
- Step 7: When the wings are done, place them in the bowl with the sauce. Cover the bowl, I use a dinner plate. Hold on tight and then shake to coat the wings with the Santa Fe sauce.
Serve immediately and devour.
Ranch dressing makes a perfect dipping sauce for these Southwestern style wings. Prepare this delicious Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing recipe. Or use Blue Cheese Dressing. Don’t forget those celery sticks.
Pro Tip: How Does Baking Powder Make Chicken Crispy? Coating meat, chicken in this case, with a dusting of baking powder alkalizes the surface of the meat making it harder for the proteins to bond which results in keeping the meat more tender when cooked. Baking powder contains cornstarch which will pull moisture from the skin. The drier the skin, the faster it will crisp.
Important Tips For Crispy Oven Roasted Chicken Wings
One of the keys to insure that baked wings come out crispy is to pat the wings dry before proceeding with the recipe. Moisture will make the baking powder gummy and the wings will steam rather than crisp.
This time spent in the refrigerator will allow the baking powder to draw moisture from the skin of the chicken. Which means those wings will crisp easier.
Use a sheet pan with a rack. Keeping those wings elevated allows air to circulate around each individual wing, which equals crispy wings.
Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil. This makes for easy clean-up, plus that foil will create extra heat to help crisp the wings. I like to use parchment paper to line sheet pans, but don’t try it for this recipe. The extended cook time at high heat will scorch and perhaps burn the paper.
To keep those crispy chicken wings crispy, re-heat them in the oven. A 350 degree oven temp for 10 – 15 minutes will yield a hot wing. Don’t use the microwave, it will turn that crispy skin flabby.
Recipe for Santa Fe Wings, Crispy Baked Wings
Come Super Bowl time, we all love a big platter of chicken wings, and they’ve got to be crispy. And as always, they’ve got to be so delicious that you’ve eaten too many before you even know it.
Party guests will go wild over this Santa Fe Sauce for wings. A combination of hot pepper sauce, and Asian sweet chile sauce, both chili seasoning (a seasoning mix) and chile powder (a single ground chile powder) makes a delicious flavor combination for oven roasted chicken wings. Give ’em a try.
Santa Fe Sauce Wings, Crispy Baked Wings
- 3 pounds chicken wings drumettes and wingettes, about 30 pieces.
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dry bbq rub or meat seasoning
- 1/3 cup hot pepper sauce we like Cholula
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce we like Maggi
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon chili powder seasoning
- 2 teaspoons chile powder A single blend chile powder, we like Chimayo, milder Ancho will work.
- Ranch Dressing for dipping sauce
- Pat wings dry with a paper towel and place the wings in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the baking powder and salt. Toss the wings to coat, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Remove wings from refrigerator and sprinkle with the dry BBQ seasoning. Toss again.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Place the wings on a large sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. This is important because the rack allows air to circulate around the wings and also keeps them up and out of any liquid that accumulates in the pan during cooking. Line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
- Bake the wings for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn up the oven heat to 400. Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until wings are starting to brown. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking after about 40 minutes.
- While the wings are baking, wash out that large bowl with hot soapy water and rinse well to get it clean and bacteria free. Mix the sauce ingredients in the bowl.
- When wings are done, dump them into the sauce, cover the bowl with a plate large enough, or use foil, and shake the bowl well to coat the wings with sauce.
- Serve immediately with Ranch Dressing for dipping sauce.
- One of the keys to insure that baked wings come out crispy is to pat the wings dry before proceeding with the recipe. Moisture will make the baking powder gummy and the wings will steam rather than crisp.
- Don’t Skip The Resting Time: This time spent in the refrigerator will allow the baking powder to draw moisture from the skin of the chicken. Which means those wings will crisp easier.
- Use A Rack: Use a sheet pan with a rack. Keeping those wings elevated allows air to circulate around each individual wing, which equals crispy wings.
- Line The Sheet Pan: Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil. This makes for easy clean-up, plus that foil will create extra heat to help crisp the wings. I like to use parchment paper to line sheet pans, but don’t try it for this recipe. The extended cook time at high heat will scorch and perhaps burn the paper.
- Leftovers? How To Reheat Chicken Wings: To keep those crispy baked wings crispy, re-heat them in the oven. A 350 degree oven temp for 10 – 15 minutes will yield a hot wing. Don’t use the microwave, it will turn that crispy skin flabby.
Crispy Baked Wings with Santa Fe Sauce … It’s Party Food
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This recipe for Santa Fe Wings was first published December 2018 and republished January of 2022 with step by step photos.
I can feel that chile bite on my tongue and it’s delicious! Love your method of baking these and so much better than frying or using an air fryer, something I don’t have. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now to find chicken wings. They have actually been hard to find here for some reason.
Hi Lea! This recipe was posted long ago, but it sounds great! I plan on cooking the wings in my *new* air-fryer oven, which will make it easy! I haven’t made wings in it yet, but have made chicken drumsticks, which were to die for!
Love the idea of sweet/spicy sauce! I’m hoping to try this for Super Bowl Sunday.
Lea Ann Brown says
Good Morning. And thanks for your note.
I’ve had my air fryer for a couple of weeks, and am at a very slow start for using it. Some halved small potatoes, reheating some pizza … that’s about it.
I’d love to try chicken wings as soon as I can. Please let me know how they turn out.
Gary R Dennison says
Over an hour in oven for wings? Sounds like a long time to me
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi Gary. Keep in mind, the first 30 minutes is at a low cooking temperature.
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I think I might just try wings now! I always hated the mess. And I love that cooking tip.Can’t wait to really try it! Thanks! Pinning!
John / Kitchen Riffs says
I will fry if the flavor payoff is worth it, although it certainly is a mess and a bit of a pain. I thinking baking chicken wings is more sensible for a home cook — so much of the flavor is in the sauce that it doesn’t matter if the wings are fried are baked (or grilled, for that matter). Good stuff — thanks.
Roger Bowin says
I’ll share this on my next visit to the Anchor Bar. We’ll all have a good laugh.
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi Roger, I’d love the chance to visit the Anchor, I’ve never had an official New York Buffalo Wing. However, the copycats out West are sure delicious.