Recipe: Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Y'all.
Get in here.
I think I cracked the code.

These wings are crispy, golden brown, and have the perfect ratio of crunchy exterior to juicy interior that you'd expect from some wings fresh out of the deep fryer.

Except there's no deep fryer. No getting popped while cooking. No lingering smells of fried oil for 3 days after the fact — and no reason to feel guilty about cooking them as often as you'd like.

And did I mention these wings are gluten free? Oh yeah.

I've had an air fryer for quite a few years now, and hands down, it's one of my favorite kitchen appliances (though the Instant Pot is a close second). It's versatile, magical, and makes transitioning to healthier eating really easy.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

To achieve perfectly crispy and juicy wings, there are a few tricks of the air fryer trade and a few special ingredients involved — which I detail in the step-by-step instructions. One of the most important components of these wings is the Station 1923 Brown Sugar Smoke All-Purpose Rub — crafted by none other than my fiancé Samuel.

Brown Sugar Smoke is sweet, savory, and flavorful with bright notes that really give these wings that extra oomph. Use a little, use a lot — I promise you won't be disappointed. Grab yours here.

Now let's get into these wings. All flats for me, please. 😂

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Station 1923 Brown Sugar Smoke
  • 1 tsp chicken bullion (I used Trader Joe's Vegan Chicken-Less Seasoning)
  • 2 tsp onion salt (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 2-3 lbs of chicken wings (I used Costco brand party wings)
  • cooking spray (or Misto with your oil of choice) 

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Note: you'll need to repeat all seasoning measurements twice — once in the flour, and once on the chicken. And of course, feel free to use more, less, or tweak the flavors to your liking. #YouKnowHowtoSeasonFood

Tools and Utensils
  • air fryer (I have this one, but XL)
  • storage bag
  • large mixing bowl
  • small or medium mixing bowl
  • cutting board, plate, or parchment paper
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs
  • tray, dish, or wire cooling rack
  • paper towels

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Instructions

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Prep
Wash your chicken and pat dry to remove excess water. Place inside large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a gallon-sized storage bag, add your rice flour, corn starch, Brown Sugar Smoke, chicken bullion, onion salt, granulated garlic, and sage. Seal the bag and shake to thoroughly mix. Upon opening the bag, you should be able to see the seasoning.


Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Crack your eggs into the small or medium-sized mixing bowl and beat until they're fully mixed.

Season
Add mustard to chicken wings, adjusting the amount if you plan to cook more or less. Mustard should form a thin coating on the outside of the chicken and be visible, but just barely. I promise, you won't taste it in the end.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Add your second round of Brown Sugar Smoke, chicken bullion, onion salt, granulated garlic, and sage directly to the wings and mix until all wings are coated evenly. Feel free to add more of each to season to your particular tastes. Just be careful with the chicken bullion — it's salty and can begin to overpower the other flavors.

"Batter"
Set up a mini assembly line for yourself in this order: bowl of chicken, bowl with beaten eggs, storage bag with flour, plate/parchment paper/cutting board.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Dip each wing individually into the beaten eggs, then drop them into the storage bag of flour until you reach 6-7 wings. Once there are 6 or so wings in the bag, seal it up and shake to evenly coat all wings in the flour mixture.

Open the bag and remove wings one-by-one, tapping them gently to shake loose the excess flour. As you place them on the plate, parchment paper, or cutting board, tap them again before laying down to remove more loose flour.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Repeat for remaining chicken wings.

Set
Pre-heat your air fryer to 400 F.

While the air fryer warms up, let your wings to set for about 10 minutes (if you don't want to leave them out, in the fridge is fine). This allows the moisture from the wings and the eggs to be absorbed by the flour, which will contribute to a crispy, battered-like exterior. About halfway through the 10 minutes, flip them over.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

The wings will still have some spots of white flour, but should for the most part, look like they have a yellow-y batter on them.

"Fry"
Once your wings are set and the air fryer is hot n' ready, it's time to go! Lay your wings inside the air fryer, leaving enough space between each one for hot air to circulate. For me, that means cooking about 6-7 wings at a time.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Next, grab your cooking spray, and spend a few seconds spraying the coating of the wings. Give a lil' extra squirt to any areas that still look powdery and white.

Close your air fryer and cook the wings on 400 F for 6-7 minutes, depending upon their size and thickness. After 6-7 minutes, open the air fryer, gently shake to loosen any stuck wings, and flip them over.

Coat with more cooking spray, again paying attention to any powder, white areas. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.

The sweet spot for my wings was 13 minutes per batch — but yours could take less or more time depending upon their size and thickness. When cooking your first set, pay extra attention to how long your wings take — and base your total timing on that.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken


While your first batch of wings cook, get a tray or dish and line it with a few paper towels — just like you would from deep frying. Alternatively, you can set them on a wire cooling rack. The goal is to preserve the crispness of the wings while the other batches cook.

Optional: set wings in oven on a low temperature (180 F) to stay warm while the rest of the wings cook in the air fryer.

Recipe for Gluten Free Air Fryer Chicken Wings that Actually Taste Like Fried Chicken

Enjoy!
Sprinkle a little more Brown Sugar Smoke on top of your wings as a "finishing salt" (or "fried chicken dust" as @mrsewill calls it) and serve. I paired our wings with gluten-free waffles, creamy grits, eggs, and a strong cup of coffee.

Brunch is served, my friends.

Hot Tip: If you end up with leftover wings, just pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes to reheat. Fresh, hot, crispy wings will be yours to enjoy all over again! 🙌🏽

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