Confession: I don’t really like the name Crispy Cajun Butter Wings, but I like it better than Cajun Dry Rub Wings. And the butter is important, it deserves some shine, too! I’m just terrible at naming recipes. Anyway, I’ve been working on these wings for a while: if you’re a part of my Twitter community Butter + Vibes, you’ve been watching this work in progress develop.
I’m not a huge wing fan, as I like my chicken dry as hell and even when ‘fried hard’ most wing places don’t cook them well enough. Not true of Wings Over: they take my order notes of ‘well done, fried hard, double cooked’ seriously. And their Cajun Dry Rub option is just. so. damn. good! They were the inspiration for these. Unlike my Blackened Chicken Tenders, the Cajun seasoning is applied after they’re fried.
Crispy Cajun Butter Wings Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Crispy Cajun Butter Wings recipe:
- Chicken wings: Pieces of chicken wings, to be exact. You might find them labeled as wingettes or party wings. If you can only find whole ones that’s fine, just use a boning knife to split them into drums and flats (up to you what you do with the wing tips).
- Paprika, onion powder, seasoned salt: We’re going to marinate the Crispy Cajun Butter Wings in these, to ensure they have flavor down to the bone, plus a bit more color out of the fryer. I recommend letting them marinate for at least half an hour.
- Kosher salt, garlic powder, dark red chili powder, smoked paprika, freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, rubbed sage, dried thyme, granulated sugar: We’re making our own Cajun Seasoning, and these are what you’ll need. Plus onion powder. You don’t have to if you don’t want to: use your favorite for your Crispy Cajun Butter Wings! McCormick’s is wonderful if you need an easy-to-find recommendation.
- Salted butter, oil: Salted butter for helping the seasoning adhere to the fried wings, and oil for frying. I used avocado oil this time.
How to Make Crispy Cajun Butter Wings
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Crispy Cajun Butter Wings recipe:
- Get your wings ready. Add your wings to a large bowl and season liberally with the seasoned salt, paprika, and onion powder. Use your hands to rub the seasonings into the meat, making sure all the wings are well seasoned. Transfer the wings to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. Make your Cajun seasoning by mixing all the listed ingredients together. Set it aside.
- Prepare to fry. Fill a large stockpot halfway up the sides with peanut oil. Affix a candy thermometer to the side, if needed. Cover with a lid and place the stockpot over medium-high heat. Pull the wings from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature while you wait for the oil to reach 365-370°F degrees. Add three tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning to a heatproof bowl, along with all the butter, broken up into small pieces.
- Fry your Crispy Cajun Butter Wings. Once the oil has reached the right temperature, remove the lid and begin adding the wings. Cook in batches, making sure not to overcrowd: we want to avoid them sticking together, and bringing the temperature of the oil down too much. Let the wings fry for 10-12 minutes, until floating on top of the oil and deeply browned. The skin should be crispy. Remove and let the excess oil drip off, then transfer the wings directly to the bowl of seasoning and butter. Use a large back and forth sweeping motion to toss the wings together with the seasoning and butter, as it melts.
- Finish them! Repeat until all the wings have been fried and seasoned, adding more of the Cajun seasoning as you see fit. The consistency of the seasoning and butter – it’ll be a bit like wet sand – might make it stick to some wings more than others. You can go in with a basting brush or your hands and fix that manually, disturbing the coating more evenly among the Crispy Cajun Butter Wings. Dassit!