Crispy Air Fried Sweet Chili Chicken Wings are finger licking good! The sticky chili garlic sauce is perfectly sweet with citrusy lime, tons of garlic, and just the right amount of heat. You can make these easily in an air fryer for the perfect crisp and a much lighter version than deep frying,
A Healthy Way to Make Chicken Wings!
Chicken wings make every occasion feel like a party. I always relate them to game day, summer cook-outs and tailgates. Of course they are always better deep fried. Who doesn’t like piping hot ultra crispy wings that are smothered in incredible sauce? But not only are deep fried wings a pain to make (especially for a large group) they are quite a bit less healthy than air frying.
With air fried wings, we don’t use any oil and we still get ultra-crispy skin that mimics deep frying. If you’re looking for delish wings that people will go crazy for, these sweet chili chicken wings are sure to hit the spot!
These air fried sweet chili chicken wings are so easy to make and you’ll love this homemade sauce. It’s buttery, sweet and stick with a bit of heat (but not too much) and a good kick of citrus.
Chicken wings – you can use drumettes, drumsticks, flats or any chicken pieces of your choice.
Butter – we’ll use this for rubbing the wings and also for the homemade sauce.
Seasonings – paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Baking Powder and Cornstarch – these aid in making the wings super crispy.
Sweet chili sauce – prepared sweet chili sauce, my favorite version is Mae Ploy
Garlic – a few cloves of fresh garlic for the sauce. Don’t skimp on the fresh garlic. Jarred or squeeze tub garlic doesn’t compare in this recipe.
Lime – one whole lime is used for the juice in the homemade sauce.
Cilantro – freshly chopped
Momofuku chili crunch – the best chili crisp ever. If you can’t find this, you can use red pepper flakes instead.
How to Make Sweet Chili Chicken Wings
Step 1: Prep the chicken to your liking. I like to soak my bone-in chicken pieces in vinegar and water for a few hours and scrub the skin to ensure they are extra clean. Make a few cuts in the flesh of the chicken so the seasonings and butter can penetrate and render super juicy chicken.
Step 2: Use softened butter to liberally rub under and over the skin. Add the seasonings, baking powder and cornstarch and toss the chicken pieces to evenly coat on all sides.
Step 3: Place chicken in the air fryer (working in batches if needed). Start with the broil setting (450 degrees) for 4 minutes. Then switch to the air frying mode at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces over and cook for another 10 minutes or until they are nice and crispy and the internal temp reaches 165 degrees – about 25 minutes of total cook time. If you are using smaller pieces, the cook time will be less about 15 minutes total cook time (4 mins broil then 5 minutes per side).
Step 4: While the chicken is cooking, place a sauce pan over medium low heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted, add in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add in the chili crunch or red pepper flakes and combine. Then pour in sweet chili sauce and bring to a simmer. Finally, squeeze in the lime juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Step 5: Place the crispy chicken wings in a large bowl and pour over the homemade sauce. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
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Oven Instructions for Sweet Chili Chicken Wings
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I hope you enjoy these easy air fried Sweet Chili Chicken Wings. Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback!
If you make these or any other recipes, don’t forget to tag me on IG @BadBatchBaking to be featured on my story. Seeing your recreations makes my day!
Air Fried Sweet Chili Chicken Wings
- 4 lbs. chicken wings drumsticks, drumettes, flats, etc.
- 5-6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Sweet Chili Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic about 4 cloves
- 1-2 tablespoons chili crunch momofuku, fly by jing, etc. sub with red pepper flakes is unavailable
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce my favorite brand is Mae Ploy
- 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- Start with clean, prepped chicken. I like to soak my bone-in chicken pieces in equal parts vinegar and water for 1-2 hours in the fridge and scrub the skin to ensure they are extra clean.
- Pat chicken dry. Make a few cuts in the flesh of the chicken under the skin so the seasonings and butter can penetrate.
- Liberally rub softened butter under and over the skin. Combine the seasonings in a bowl and add to the chicken. Mix together the baking powder and cornstarch and toss the chicken pieces to evenly coat on all sides.
- Place chicken in the air fryer (working in batches if needed). Start with the broil setting (450 degrees) for 4 minutes. Then switch to the air frying mode at 400 degrees, flipping half way through. **Cook times will vary based on the size of chicken pieces. Party wings take about 15 minutes total, drumsticks and larger pieces take 20-25 minutes. Chicken is cooked when internal temp reaches 165 degrees.
- While the chicken is cooking, place a saucepan over medium low heat and add the butter. Once it's melted, add in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add in the chili crunch (or red pepper flakes) and combine. Then pour in sweet chili sauce and bring to a simmer. Finally, squeeze in the juice from one lime. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
- Place the crispy chicken wings in a large bowl and pour over the homemade sauce. Toss to coat and serve immediately.