Learn how to boil chicken wings, it’s fast and easy, and you can use them in many ways. Tender, juicy wings ready to serve as they are or for grilling, baking, deep-frying.
Making boiled chicken wings is always a good idea if you are looking for a super quick chicken meal with rice or trying to cut on cooking time when grilling or baking them. You can also learn How to Boil Frozen Chicken Breast or Boil Chicken Legs.
Table of contents
Why should you boil chicken wings?
- Convenient: They are quick to cook, economical, and versatile. If you have some cooked ones in the fridge, you can put dinner on the table in no time.
- Healthier: Pre-boiling or boiling chicken wings before grilling or baking them helps you get rid of some of their fat and calories.
- Time: It cuts on grilling or baking time if you want to do this after boiling the chicken. I find this method super helpful for a barbecue. You can simmer the pieces in advance until cooked through and then quickly crisp them on the grill.
- Stock: You can cook an extra meal using the flavorful stock.
What is boiling?
- Cooking something until boiling and fully cooked. In this case, it means cooking the wings fully to serve them as they are or add to other dishes.
Advantages of boiling chicken wings
- Time: It’s super quick.
- Versatile: You can use the meat for other dishes.
- Make ahead: You can cook them in advance and add them to other dishes when needed.
How long to boil chicken wings?
- About 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their size and whether they are whole or divided at the joint. They should be super tender and cooked through but not overcooked.
What is parboiling?
- A method of cooking food only partially with the intention of finishing the cooking process in another way. In this case, you would parboil the meat until it is more or less half cooked and then bake or grill it until cooked through.
Advantages of parboiling chicken wings
- Time: It reduces baking/grilling time; I find this particularly useful when grilling.
- Fat: By parboiling them, you will get rid of some excess fat. This also makes them crisp up in the oven or on the grill.
How long does it take to parboil them?
- About 8 minutes. First, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the cube stock or salt and pepper. Once the water boils, add the pieces carefully and parboil them for 8 minutes.
- Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels.
- Ensure they are completely dry before you coat them with spices and cook them to the end in the oven or on the grill.
- Cook as many as needed; make sure that the pot you are using is large enough.
- You can cook whole chicken wings or wings divided into drumettes and wingettes.
- A stock cube might seem unusual, but it really adds flavor, not only to the meat but to the liquid as well. And I always use the liquid to make soup, risotto, or another rice dish.
- If you don’t want to use a stock cube (powder or paste), add some salt, pepper, and bay leaves to the liquid.
- Boil water: Bring a large pot with water to a boil.
- Add the stock cube, powder, or paste. If desired, use salt, pepper, and some bay leaves instead.
- Add the wings carefully (1).
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through (2).
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
- If parboiling the wings and grilling or baking them afterward, make sure that they are perfectly dry before cooking. This will ensure that they crisp up nicely. You can either let them dry on kitchen towels at room temperature for about 30 minutes or dry each one individually.
- For a more flavorful chicken stock perfect for soups, add some roughly chopped vegetables (onion, carrot, celery sticks, garlic) and more spices (bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves) to the cold water. Strain the liquid after cooking the meat.
Grill: About 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until cooked through, slightly charred and crispy. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer; it should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit/ 74 degrees Celsius. Flip regularly.
Oven: About 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit/ 230 degrees Celsius or until cooked through and crispy. Check with a meat thermometer. Cook them on a lined baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
Grill: About 10 minutes on medium heat until nicely charred and crispy. Flip them regularly.
Oven: About 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit/ 230 degrees Celsius. I like to use a wire rack placed on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Don’t forget to rub them with spices before baking them.
Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep pan, about 3 inches/ 7 cm deep. The oil should have 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius. Ensure that the pieces are completely dry. Fry them in batches, for about 10-15 minutes per batch or until golden brown and crispy. Place on kitchen towels to remove the excess fat.
Let the boiled chicken wings come at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
Stovetop: Bring water to a boil. Add the wings and reheat for about 3 minutes or until heated through.
Microwave: Covered for about 2 minutes or until heated through.
Oven: Dry and rub with spices and bake until crispy and heated through.
Air fryer: Dry and rub them with spices and cook them at 370 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius, flipping halfway through, for about 15-20 minutes or until crispier and heated through. If you only wish to reheat them without making them crispy, 5 minutes should be enough.
How to serve?
- To make a full meal, serve the boiled chicken wings with rice. You can cook plain rice or basmati in chicken stock (use the cooking liquid) and serve with the wings.
- Or you can make a simple pilaf, Buttered Rice with Garlic, Carrot Rice, BBQ Rice, Jollof Rice, and so on; the possibilities are endless.
- You can also make chicken fricassee or add the cooked wings to soups or stews.
- You can grill, bake, deep-fry, and air fry the boiled or preboiled chicken wings, as mentioned many times already.
More chicken wing recipes
How to Boil Chicken Wings
- Large pot
- Slotted spoon
- 8 whole chicken wings or 16 split wings
- 1 chicken stock cube or 1 teaspoon stock powder or paste, Notes 1, 2
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dissolve the chicken stock cube in the boiling water.
- Add the chicken wings carefully.
- Boil for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Alternatively, use 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 bay leaves.
- For a more flavorful stock (for soup), add one chopped onion, one chopped carrot, 2 chopped celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves, bay leaves, 3 cloves, 5 juniper berries to the cold water.
- To parboil the chicken wings, add them to the boiling pot of water and cook them for 8 minutes. They will be only partially cooked. Finish cooking them using another method and make sure they are cooked through before serving. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit/ 74 degrees Celsius.