Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

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Delicious easy baked chicken wings, bursting with lemon pepper flavor and perfect serving at a tailgate, party, or for an easy weeknight dinner!

A close up of lemon pepper chicken wings on a plate.
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A plate of lemon pepper chicken wings with a lemon wedge on it.

Zesty Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Lemon pepper chicken wings offer a uniquely tantalizing blend of flavors that dance on the palate, creating a symphony of taste with each bite. The zesty, citrusy notes of lemon provide a fresh and vibrant taste that cuts through the richness of the chicken, offering a refreshing burst of flavor. This lemony zest is beautifully complemented by the sharp, earthy kick of cracked black pepper, which adds depth and a slight heat to the dish. Together, these primary flavors harmonize wonderfully, striking a perfect balance between tangy and spicy. The addition of butter in the sauce adds a layer of richness, enhancing the overall mouthfeel and bringing a subtle creaminess that rounds off the sharp edges of the lemon and pepper.

The magic of lemon pepper chicken wings lies not just in the bold flavors of lemon and pepper, but also in the way these wings are prepared. When fried, the wings develop a delightfully crispy exterior that contrasts with the tender, juicy meat inside, further accentuating the flavor experience. The seasoning, often a blend of lemon zest, cracked pepper, and other spices like garlic and onion powder, adheres to the crisp skin, ensuring that each bite is packed with flavor. If baked or air-fried, the wings might have a lighter texture, but still retain that delectable flavor profile. The lemon pepper seasoning, whether store-bought or homemade, is key to achieving the perfect balance of tangy, spicy, and savory flavors, making these wings a favorite for those who crave a dish that is both zesty and robust.

Perfect for parties, game day, or as a tasty snack, Zesty Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings are a surefire way to impress those looking for something both flavorful and a little out of the ordinary!

Lemon pepper chicken wings on a plate.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  1. 2 lb Chicken Wings (Drums and Flats): The main component of the dish, chicken wings are beloved for their crispy skin and tender meat when cooked properly.
  2. ¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour: This is used for coating the wings, providing a base layer for crispiness once fried.
  3. 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch: When combined with flour, cornstarch helps the wings get even crispier. It also makes the flour coating lighter.
  4. 1 Teaspoon Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the chicken and the crust.
  5. ½ Teaspoon Ground Pepper: Adds a subtle heat and depth to the seasoning.
  6. ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder: Brings a mild, savory note that complements both the chicken and the lemon pepper flavors.
  7. Oil for Deep Frying: Essential for achieving that crave-worthy, crispy texture.

To Prepare Lemon Butter Sauce:

  1. ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted: Creates a rich, smooth base for the sauce.
  2. 2 Tablespoons Honey: Adds sweetness to balance the tanginess of the lemon.
  3. 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice: Provides a bright, citrusy kick that’s key to the lemon pepper flavor.
  4. 2 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasonings: This is the star seasoning blend that gives the wings their zesty and peppery profile.

To Garnish and Serve:

  1. Chopped Parsley: Adds a fresh, herbaceous touch and visual appeal to the dish.
  2. Lemon Wedges: Perfect for squeezing over the wings for extra lemony zing right before eating.

To make this recipe, we will use the following method:

  • Pat the chicken wings dry with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture and set them aside.
  • In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Add the chicken wings and the flour mixture to a ziplock bag and toss them until the wings are well coated with the flour.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying the chicken wings. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully add the flour-coated chicken wings and fry them until they are golden and crispy. Repeat the same process with the remaining chicken wings in batches.
  • Once they are done, drain the fried chicken wings from the oil and set them aside on a plate.
  • While the chicken wings are resting, prepare the lemon butter sauce by combining melted butter, honey, lemon juice, and lemon pepper seasonings in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Coat the prepared lemon butter sauce over the fried wings. You can either brush it on or drizzle it and toss the wings to ensure they are coated evenly.
  • Transfer the lemon pepper wings to a serving platter, garnish them with freshly chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings on a plate.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Dry the Wings Thoroughly: Before seasoning or flouring, pat the wings dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture is key to getting a crispy exterior.

Season Well: Don’t skimp on the seasonings in the flour mixture. The salt, pepper, and garlic powder are essential for flavoring the crust.

Cornstarch for Crispiness: The addition of cornstarch to the flour helps create a crispier coating on the wings.

Proper Frying Technique: Heat your oil to about 375°F (190°C) and don’t overcrowd the pan. This ensures each wing cooks evenly and gets a nice golden color.

Cook in Batches: If necessary, fry the wings in batches to maintain the oil temperature and prevent the wings from sticking together.

Resting Time: After frying, let the wings rest on a wire rack over a sheet pan. This helps excess oil drip off without making the wings soggy.

Sauce Consistency: The lemon butter sauce should be a good balance of buttery, tangy, and sweet. Adjust the honey and lemon juice to taste.

Coating the Wings: Toss the wings in the lemon pepper sauce while they’re still hot to ensure they absorb all the flavors.

Garnish: Freshly chopped parsley not only adds color but also a fresh flavor that complements the lemon.

Serving: Serve with lemon wedges on the side. A fresh squeeze of lemon juice just before eating can elevate the lemon flavor.

Experiment with Heat: If you like a bit of spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture or sauce.

Rest Before Serving: Letting the wings sit for a couple of minutes after tossing them in the sauce allows the flavors to meld.

FAQs

Can lemon pepper wings be made gluten-free?

Yes, use a gluten-free flour blend for dredging or skip the flour coating altogether for a naturally gluten-free version.

How should I store leftover lemon pepper wings?

Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer for best results.

What are some good sides to serve with lemon pepper wings?

Celery sticks, carrot sticks, blue cheese or ranch dressing, coleslaw, and French fries are popular choices.

Are lemon pepper chicken wings spicy?

Lemon pepper wings are typically not spicy, they are more zesty and tangy. However, you can add cayenne pepper or chili flakes if you prefer them spicy.

How do I know when the chicken wings are done cooking?

The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F. The skin should be crispy and golden brown.

Can I make lemon pepper wings ahead of time?

Yes, you can cook the wings ahead of time and reheat them in the oven or air fryer. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to toss them in the sauce just before serving.

A close up of lemon-infused chicken wings sprinkled with pepper on a plate.

What to Serve with Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Enjoying lemon pepper chicken wings can be a delightful culinary experience, especially when paired with the right sides and accompaniments. Here’s a list of items that complement lemon pepper chicken wings well:

Celery and Carrot Sticks: These crisp, fresh vegetables are a classic pairing with chicken wings, providing a refreshing crunch.

Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing: Dipping sauces like blue cheese or ranch are perfect for adding creaminess and flavor.

Coleslaw: A tangy, creamy coleslaw can balance the zestiness of the lemon pepper seasoning.

Sweet Potato Fries: Their natural sweetness contrasts nicely with the savory and zesty chicken wings.

Garlic Bread: Warm, buttery garlic bread is great for soaking up any extra seasoning or sauce.

Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled, corn on the cob is a sweet and juicy side that pairs well with the wings.

Pickle Spears: Their tartness and crunch offer a nice contrast to the wings.

Onion Rings: Crispy onion rings can add a delightful crunch and flavor contrast.

Garden Salad: A light, fresh salad can balance the heaviness of fried chicken wings.

Baked Beans: They bring a sweet and savory element that complements the zesty wings.

Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy and comforting, it’s a favorite side that pairs well with almost anything.

Chilled Beer or Lemonade: A cold beer or a refreshing glass of lemonade can be the perfect beverage to accompany this dish.

Also try these chicken recipes next:

Lemon pepper chicken wings on a paper plate.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings Recipe

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Easy fried lemon pepper chicken wings.

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A mouthwatering close up of lemon pepper chicken wings.
Print

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Lemon pepper chicken wings are a zesty and savory dish, where the tangy zest of lemon perfectly complements the bold flavor of cracked black pepper, creating a delightful taste sensation.
Course chicken wings
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizers, gameday, keto, paleo, wings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 674kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

For Lemon Butter Sauce

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken wings dry with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture and set them aside.
  • In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the chicken wings and the flour mixture to a ziplock bag and toss them until the wings are well coated with the flour.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying the chicken wings to approximately 375 degrees. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully add the flour-coated chicken wings and fry them until they are golden and crispy. Repeat the same process with the remaining chicken wings in batches.
  • Once they are done, drain the fried chicken wings from the oil and set them aside on a plate.
  • While the chicken wings are resting, prepare the lemon butter sauce by combining melted butter, honey, lemon juice, and lemon pepper seasonings in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Coat the prepared lemon butter sauce over the fried wings. You can either brush it on or drizzle it and toss the wings to ensure they are coated evenly.
  • Transfer the lemon pepper wings to a serving platter, garnish them with freshly chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1284mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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