You might not believe it, but delicious teriyaki chicken wings are baked, not fried.
But do not worry; they’re just as crispy and addictive as any other wings you’ve ever tried!
Chicken wing snobs will tell you to always fry the meat for best results. But that’s simply not true.
If you marinate the wings long enough and preheat the oven, they will cook until they are juicy and the skin crispy like a dream.
That said, the key to success here is the long soak in homemade teriyaki sauce. Skip this and you’ll have sad, flavorless wings.
So let’s make a batch of these teriyaki chicken wings – I’m starving!
Easy Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings Recipe
What makes this recipe stand out in a crowd of boring teriyaki chicken wings is the homemade sauce.
A sauce prepared in advance won’t do the job as it is usually quite thin and watery.
On the other hand, you want the teriyaki marinade to be rich and thick so that it oozes into every nook and cranny of the chicken wing.
Deliciously sweet and savory, with a savory touch of fresh ginger and garlic, this stuff is gold. It’s so good that I suggest you make double and save half for later.
Don’t worry, though! It’s simple, affordable, and uses pantry staples.
You will notice a tangy and fruity touch from the pineapple juice, the salty taste from the soy sauce and salty notes from the garlic and ginger.
You see, there is no need to take every spice off your shelf or go to specialty stores.
As mentioned, the chicken needs to sit for some time . An hour is the absolute minimum, but if possible, stay overnight.
Then cook them until crispy and golden brown.
- Chicken Wings or Drumsticks – I like to buy a big bag of party wings that come in assorted drumstick and wing cuts, so you have more options. But feel free to use one or the other.
- Keep in mind that this recipe is for smaller cuts, so if you use drumsticks or thighs, you won’t get the same results.
- Water – Water ensures that the marinade seeps into all the little crevices of the wings, making them more flavorful.
- Soy Sauce – It’s not teriyaki without soy sauce! It adds a rich, caramel color and brings lots of flavor and saltiness.
- Remember, there is no need to add salt when the soy sauce comes to the party.
- White Sugar – Sugar makes teriyaki sauce light and combats the salty taste of soy sauce. It also makes the wings finger-licking sticky.
- Pineapple Juice – Without the pineapple juice, the sauce will be flat. And we use pineapple specifically for its characteristic fruity-tart zest that will bridge the flavor gap between savory and sweet.
- Vegetable oil – For marinating – not for frying. This helps the teriyaki sauce stick to the chicken wings.
- Fresh Garlic – Nothing beats freshly minced garlic! It is flavorful, robust and essential to the flavor profile.
- Fresh Ginger – Just like garlic, it’s not a teriyaki sauce without fresh ginger. And while powdered or pureed ginger works in a pinch, nothing beats the bright flavors of freshly chopped ginger root.
How to make teriyaki chicken wings
This recipe is as easy as 1-2-3!
1. Prepare the marinade .
The first step is simple: just mix the ingredients until smooth!
Mix the water, oil, white sugar, pineapple juice, vegetable oil and spices in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.
2. Coat the chicken .
Toss the chicken wings in the marinade until evenly coated. Then cover them and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour (overnight is best).
3. Cook the chicken wings .
Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. You can even pat them a little (with absorbent paper) to avoid puddles of sauce under the wing.
Bake wings in a greased baking dish or cookie sheet for 1 hour in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C).
Flip the wings halfway through cooking to ensure they cook evenly. Then serve with additional sauce for dipping.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Teriyaki Chicken Wings
When a recipe is this simple, it’s hard to go wrong. That said, here are some tips and tricks to ensure perfect wings every time!
- Don’t try to speed up the marinating time. The longer the chicken soaks in the teriyaki sauce, the better. And even though I said “at least an hour,” I suggest going for at least three hours.
- Add additional flavors to the marinade. While this recipe is a great place to start, it doesn’t have to stop there!
- For nutty flavors, add things like sesame oil or sesame seeds, or extra garlic for all you garlic lovers.
- If you like your teriyaki sauce sweeter, add mirin, lemon or orange juice, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Taste as you go. The marinade is safe before it hits the chicken, so taste it to make sure it’s sweet/salty/salty enough.
- Prepare an additional marinade for the dip . For messy, finger-licking chicken wings, make another batch of teriyaki sauce to pour over them when they come out of the oven or serve them as a tasty dip.
- But don’t use the same teriyaki sauce you used for the marinade! It’s full of bacteria from raw chicken, so you’ll need to cook it first.
- To use leftover marinade as a sauce, bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. It will thicken as it cooks, but boiling and simmering it for at least five minutes will kill the bacteria.
Can you freeze chicken wings?
Chicken wings freeze very well. They must first be cooked and completely cooled. Then, place them in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to four months. If you have a large quantity, cover them with parchment paper first so they don’t stick together.
I like to let the wings cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, then chill them in the refrigerator for about an hour until completely cold.
Small batches will fit nicely in a ziplock bag.
But when I have a lot, I line a container with parchment paper and add a single layer of wings. Cover them with parchment paper, then add another layer.
Repeat until all the wings are in the can and seal tightly.
To eat, be sure to thaw the wings in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C.
How to Defrost and Reheat Teriyaki Chicken Wings
There are three ways to defrost chicken wings, but the best way is to put them in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, it is also the longest since they will have to sit up all night in most cases.
If you’re short on time, place the sealed freezer bag in a bowl of cold water. Every 30 minutes, drain the water and replace it with fresh water until the chicken is no longer frozen.
Once your chicken is defrosted, it only needs a few minutes in the oven. Then, bake them for about 6 minutes in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) oven.
(Check out this article for the best ways to reheat chicken wings.)
It’s important to note that you should never thaw frozen chicken wings at room temperature, as this will contaminate the chicken.
If you’re in a hurry, use the cold water method or take a crash course on your microwave’s defrost setting.