My husband bought me an air fryer a while back, and his first request was chicken wings. I happily obliged with a recipe I found on Pinterest (where else?). The wings were good, but they were missing one thing: sauce. We both agreed on this, so I went in search of a recipe that would include sauce and found these Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Wings With Soy, Balsamic Reduction Glaze. The recipe isn’t for the air fryer, but I’m sure it could be adapted. But I’m making this one in the oven per the recipe, and I can’t wait to try these wings!
Chinese Wings have never been so irresistible. The tantalizing marinade, the rub, the glaze. They all come together to create the most epic Chinese Chicken Wings Recipe you will ever devour.
My usual pre-grocery shopping pantry check yielded quite a few of the ingredients for these Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Wings. I had the sugars, spices, baking powder, and Sriracha. Not bad.
That left me to buy the reduced-sodium soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lime, and chicken wings. I have to be honest and tell you that I know nothing about balsamic vinegar, so I just bought the most expensive small bottle I could find. It was just under $5.
As for the wings, I only found a four-pound family pack of whole wings. That meant I would have to separate them, freeze the extra two pounds, and cut apart the ones I planned to use. Mildly inconvenient, but not that much of a hassle.
These chicken Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Wings have to marinate at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. I took the second option and made this a 2-day affair. When it comes to marinade, I think longer is better.
I started things off by cutting up two pounds of chicken wings. This quick video tutorial titled How to Cut Whole Chicken Wings into Portions showed me exactly how to do it, and it only took 6 minutes. After that, all I had to do was mix up the marinade ingredients and add them to a ziplock bag with the wings.
The next day, I pulled the wings out of the refrigerator and let them warm up a little while I did some more prep work. That included lining a sheet pan with parchment paper and topping that with my wire cooling racks. I’m guessing this is to allow air to circulate while the wings cook and allow any grease to drain away.
I placed the marinated wings on a few layers of paper towels and patted them dry. Then I put them into another ziplock bag with the baking powder and tossed them to coat. The coated wigs went onto the prepared sheet pan and into the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
This recipe says to begin the sauce when there are 5 minutes left on the timer. Well, I decided to get a jump on it and started it after cleaning up my workspace a little. It was a little early, but I’m kind of glad I did it that way.
Prepping the glaze only took 2 minutes, but the glaze took a bit longer than the 10-15 minutes listed. I made it in a large skillet per the instructions (my LINK:12-inch nonstick skillet), but it took 24 minutes to reduce to a sticky consistency. I’m guessing I was too cautious with the heat setting and it could have been set a little higher.
Regardless, I ended up with a thick and sticky glaze that was ready before the wings needed to be broiled. Unfortunately, this glaze gets really thick when it cools and making it so early gave it plenty of time to cool. I noticed this and put the pan onto my stove’s warmer eye to keep it from getting too thick.
All that was left was to crisp the wings under the broiler for 5 minutes per side and glaze them. Well, I’m paranoid when I use the broiler because it works fast! Don’t get me wrong, it does nice things but you have to be careful not to burn your food.
I set the broiler on high (mine only has low or high) and kept a close eye on my wings. Sure enough, they were getting charred around the 2-minutes mark. I flipped them over early and the other side was finished when the timer went off, a full 5 minutes early.
There was a lot going on, but I managed to capture the times for all the steps. Here’s how long everything took:
- Day 1
- 6 minutes to cup up the wings
- 4 minutes to prep the marinade
- Day 2
- 5 minutes to prep the wings
- 40 minutes to bake (26 minutes to make the glaze while the wings baked)
- 5 minutes to broil
- 5 minutes to glaze and cool
- 1 hour 5 minutes total (not including time to marinate)
This recipe doesn’t have the total time listed, but I expected it to be done in an hour. I came within 5 minutes of that despite the glaze taking longer to reduce than expected.