Instead of traditional buffalo chicken wings, why not make a batch of these savory garlic charged wings. They’re loaded with fresh rosemary, charred onions and soft, mellow garlic with crispy, juicy pan-charred wings. These rosemary garlic chicken wings have won praise by my family and the legions of folks who’ve made them.
Up until a few years ago, my experience with chicken wings was limited.
Yes, I’d had those famous buffalo-style wings and while they weren’t bad, they definitely weren’t something I craved and certainly nothing I would go out of my way for.
My daughter on the other hand, loves them. And Scott naturally associates “wings” with “football” as in “let’s watch the game and eat some wings!”
I was the lone dissenter. Actually, not a dissenter, but more of a meh – whatever, take-em or leave-em shrug. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em…” I challenged myself to make a better wing. One that even I wanted to eat!
Last year, we worked on these Hatch Chile wings – which my official tasters gobbled up. Then I went on an asian-flavor kick and made these wings that smacked you upside the head with a tangy, sweet, spicy glaze.
Ok, I REALLY liked those! This time, I was trying to recreate some wings that I’d tasted a few years ago at the Boca Burger Battle. (I know — WINGS at a BURGER BATTLE???) — BUT both Scott and I agreed, these wings were better than any of the burgers!
With rosemary, garlic and spice, they had a bold flavor that kept us coming back. The wings were served with tender caramelized onions and whole roasted garlic cloves. (sigh!!)
Of course, the restaurant serving them had a wood burning oven. I do not. So my first challenge was “how” to cook them. Grilling would make sense and maybe lend a little char. Roasting on a rack in a very hot oven usually achieves a crispy result. But there were those onions and garlic cloves…. I settled on a cast iron skillet and a dual cooking method — stovetop and oven.
The marinade is pretty straight forward and includes a ton of fresh rosemary, some lemon zest, red pepper flakes and a healthy amount of salt and pepper.
I put the wings into the marinade the night before so that they could really absorb those flavors.
To take some of the pungency out of the garlic cloves, I blanched them first in some boiling water, then slipped off the skins and they were ready to be used.
I made these at the same time I was putting the marinade together and just stored them in a plastic baggie until I was ready to cook.
The next day, I set the skillet over the burner and turned it on medium high. Cast iron holds the heat and sears anything it touches (including you — I used an oven-mitt)!
This stovetop method seared the chicken and started the browning/caramelizing on the onions. I finished the cooking in a very hot oven!
After about 10 minutes, I used a pair of tongs to flip the wings and give the onions a quick stir. Flip the wings once or twice more during the cooking until they take on a glistening golden brown. That’s it!
Transfer the wings to a platter, turn on the game and pass out the napkins. You won’t have leftovers. In fact, you may want to think about doubling or tripling this recipe. I guess, maybe I am a wing-lover after all.
More wing recipes and other snacks:
- Hatch Chile Chicken Wings
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken Wings
- Sriracha Honey Lime Wings
- Crispy Fried Gnocchi with Blue Cheese
- Cedar Planked Salmon Sliders
- Pork Belly Bao Buns
Rosemary Garlic Chicken Wings
- 1 pound chicken wings separated into flats and drums
- 1 tablespoon rosemary chopped fresh
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from about 2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and sliced into 1/4-1/2″ wedges
- 1 head garlic not peeled, separated into cloves
- In a small bowl combine the rosemary, lemon zest, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and 1/4 cup olive oil and stir well. Set aside.
- Rinse and dry the wings and place them in a 1 gallon resealable storage or freezer bag. Add the marinade, seal the bag, getting out most of the air. Massage the chicken wings in the marinade until well coated. Refrigerate overnight.
- Take the chicken wings out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the cloves of garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain and let the cloves cool. Slip the skins off the cloves of garlic and set aside.
- Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil, when the oil is hot, add the onions and cook while stirring occasionally for one minute. Add the chicken wings one at a time to the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes (without turning or prodding them) so that they get a little sear. Using tongs, flip the wings. Add the peeled garlic cloves and stir them with the onions. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, then transfer the skillet to the hot oven.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken wings and stir the onions and garlic before returning to the oven. Cook an additional 8 minutes and flip the chicken wings again. Cook for a final 8 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Transfer the wings to a platter and serve.
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Rich L. says
Lisa, your pictures and descriptions are fantastic! I can’t wait to try just as you did. Then I’ll try in my Farberware rotisserie with a basket. I’ll let you know and take a pic to share.
Davian Chase says
Tried this for my family and they were amazing!!
So glad you and your family enjoyed them!
These are so easy. I followed exactly. I don’t have a cast iron skillet so used a sheet pan for the oven part. Best ever wings!!
With one substitution, the result was sensational. (I didn’t have a lemon to make zest with, but I had a jar of preserved lemons – my own – so I minced one up instead, including the pulp which provided the salt.) This was the fasted moving platter of wings I have ever made.
I like to hear that, David! Send me some preserved lemons, next time!
Hi may I ask. Is it possible to bbq the wings instead?
Absolutely. I love grilled wings — You might want to put the onions and garlic in a cast iron skillet on the grill – so they don’t fall through the grates.
Such a delish combination of flavors whether on chicken or fish.
Thanks, Julie! Glad you like it!
THANK YOU FOR ADDING THE TEMPERATURE, IT TURNED OUT TO BE VERY GOOD…
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Carolyn… Thanks for the catch!
WHAT TEMPERATURE TO SET THE OVEN?. I DON’T SEE IN THE RECIPE.
Oops! Thanks for catching that — 400°. I fixed it in the recipe.
Love the combo of rosemary and lemon, especially with red pepper flakes for a kick! Great job on the step by step direction pictures.
I’m a firm believer in a little spice kick!
Byte Sized Nutrition says
I’m also not typically a person who craves chicken wings (surprising, considering I grew up about an hour outside of Buffalo, NY), but these look absolutely fantastic! Lemon and rosemary is such a delicious combo and these look perfectly crisp.. just the way wings should be!
Glad you like the flavor combo!
Gosh these wings look mouthwatering! And they are so easy, I’m adding these to my Super Bowl list for sure – everyone here LOVES wings! Thanks for the recipe!
Tracy Koslicki says
Wow these look phenomenal! Love that you hit them in a cast iron first before finishing in the oven. A great way to keep them healthy but also keep that crisp!
Thanks Tracy! Who doesn’t like chicken wings?!
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says
These look easy, and so delicious! I really love garlic.
Yeah – it’s a weakness of mine too!