Crispy Oven Baked or Grilled Chicken Wings

Crispy Chicken Wings
This post is more about technique than the flavors.  We'll make some flavor suggestions, but you can adapt your favorite seasonings and sauces to this technique/recipe. I am always on the qwest for the perfect chicken wing.  You cant deny that frying them is a great way towards the perfect wing, but healthier methods exist and dealing with frying at home is messy.

What you need:
Chicken wing portions.  You can buy these pre-cut into into drumette and flat portions or cut 'em yourself. 
All-Purpose Baking Mix, AP Flour or Baking Powder (optional)
Seasoning - We obviously recommend Zest Coast :)
Plastic baggie
Sauce of your choice - optional

Technique/What to do:
Cut chicken wings into parts. There are two basic ways to do this.  Poultry shears or a knife. With practice, a knife is easiest.  There are three parts to the wing.  Drumette, Flat, and Tip.  We freeze the tips and when we have a nice sized collection, make stock.  With the knife, wiggle the parts a bit and feel for the joint with the knife and slide/press through the joint.  If you find the right spot, it is pretty easy.  If not, press hard or try again to find the right spot.  I am good at it and still mess some up.  Was wings and pat dry with paper towel and place into a large bowl or plastic baggie.
Now you have a decision.  Use baking mix, baking powder, flour, or neither.  I have only recently started playing with the baking powder. Make sure yours doesn't have any aluminum in it, it can taste bitter.  The baking mix/powder/flour is very optional but it can yield a nice crispy product.  If you really like 'em crispy.  Give it a try. If you try this, mix the flour and seasonings together in the baggie before adding the chicken.  Massage the seasonings into the meat until evenly coated. The neat thing about the baggie is that your hands stay clean.  Store in refrigerator until ready to grill.  I like to remove from fridge about 30 minutes ahead. 

Grilling/baking:  If you bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  place wings (uncovered) on a broiling pan or rack inserted into pan so that fat can fall away and keep wings crisp. Cook for 30 minutes and then check doneness with an instant read thermometer (I use a Thermapen). I cook my wings to 195 to 205F degrees.  But you want them at least 165F degrees.

If you grill, you can get good results on any grill.  The key is medium hot, around 350 to 425F temperature range and over indirect heat.  Indirect is especially important if you have any sugar in your rub or sauce. 

Saucing: I rarely sauce wings before pulling them from the grill.  It is much better to sauce by tossing in a bowl and then pouring wings onto serving platter.  The excess sauce stays in bowl and keeps wings from getting soggy.  But the real key for me is using just enough sauce (about a Tbsp per dozen) to lightly coat wings. If you want to sauce the wings while cooking to let the sauce set (and this is important if you have a sweet sauce, honey, jelly, or such) wait until the wings are nearly done or done.  Reduce heat or move wings to coolest part of grill.  Baste with sauce and allow 5 minutes to set.