Recipe: Lemon Pepper Oven-Baked Wings

updated Jan 13, 2020
Lemon Pepper Oven-Baked Wings
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Frying anything to order for a party is not something I particularly enjoy — in fact, it’s a task I actively avoid. Even if I had one of those huge industrial fryers (which is actually one of my dream kitchen components), I still wouldn’t want to do it, and I’m a professional cook! But wings are one of those classic game-day snacks that I really don’t want to forego for a Super Bowl party. How to reconcile the warring factions of my brain and my stomach?

I take a tip from the playbook for the tastiest roasted chicken, that’s how. Using the same technique for the famous Zuni Café roast chicken, I use a dry brine to let the salt work its magic on the skin, and a low-to-high heat oven roast to make those wings sing.

Don’t be put off by the hours the chicken spends in the fridge and in the oven. This is all hands-off time for you, so as long as you have a timer on your phone (and I know you do!), then you’re in the clear to make these exceedingly crispy-skinned wings and not smell of frying oil all night. Winner, winner, chicken wing dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Lemon Pepper Oven-Baked Wings

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3 tablespoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons

  • 3 pounds

    chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces and tips discarded (about 24 pieces total)


  1. Whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon zest together in a large bowl.

  2. Toss the wings in the spice blend, using your hands to make sure each wing is thoroughly and evenly coated.

  3. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a large casserole dish in a single layer. The wings can be snug and touching each other. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.

  4. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 325°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

  5. Divide the chicken wings between the baking sheets, spacing them evenly and in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes.

  6. Increase the heat to 450°F and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the wings and roast until the skin is very crispy and brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.