There’s nothing better than wings and fries during a fall weekend full of football games. I have found a way to make these indulgences a little healthier without missing any of the flavor of the traditional fried counterparts. My husband prefers these wings over the fried version, and once I made these french fries for my family and they couldn’t believe that I baked them!
I have found the best secrets for perfect wings and fries that you can feel a little better about eating every weekend (because trust me, you will crave them every weekend!)
Crispy Grilled Wings
What’s the secret to grilled wings that are super crispy but not overdone? Bake them first! This fully cooks the chicken before placing them on the grill, so they stay moist on the inside but you can get the skin nice and crispy on the outside. You can even bake the chicken wings a day ahead and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. Just bring them to room temperature before grilling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take one pound of chicken wings (My favorite are Bell & Evans) and place them on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Once baked, preheat grill to medium high and grilled wings, turning occasionally until browned and crisp on all sides, about 10 minutes. Take off grill and toss with your favorite buffalo sauce.
Crispy Oven Fried French Fries
Most oven baked fries get super mushy. However this secret step that I learned from J Kenji Lopez, author of the Food Lab is a game changer. The trick is to pre-cook the fries in water and vinegar! The acid in the vinegar slows the breakdown of pectin, which helps the potato hold it’s shape, instead of falling apart. You don’t have to understand all the science, just know that it works!. The result is crispy, baked fries using very little oil.
2 pounds russet potatoes cut into about 1/4-inch fries
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place two sheet pans in the oven to pre-heat.
Place potatoes and vinegar in a saucepan and add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towels and allow to dry for 5 minutes. Place the potatoes back in the saucepan and toss with the vegetable oil and season with salt as desired.
Divide the potatoes evenly among the two hot sheet pans, making sure the fries are evenly spaced and in a single layer (Note: over-crowding the pan with cause the fries to steam and not get crispy!) Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping the fries half way through the cooking time. (At this time, I also like to swap the pans on the racks in the oven because the fries on the bottom rack will get brown more quickly than the pan on the top)