These Crispy Lemon Pepper Wings are juicy chicken wings fried to golden brown perfection then tossed in a sweet, spicy and lemony honey glaze! They are the perfect appetizer for your next game day gathering and they will keep you coming back for more.
Who doesn’t love fried chicken? Just at the mention of wings, my mouth is watering! Buffalo, BBQ, and even teriyaki are all good in my book. But y’all, if you ask me, lemon pepper is the flavor to beat.
The lemon pepper seasoning takes the wings to the next level. There is a zest from the lemon, a bite from the pepper and a balanced sweetness from the honey. With each bite you’ll find a new flavor to enjoy.
As an avid entertainer, I love recipes that are a hit with my family and friends. If there is ever an excuse for me to get in the kitchen and whip up something good, I’m there.
So as busy as the last few months have been, I’ve truly enjoyed developing recipes and creating delicious memories for my loved ones. These Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings have been this season’s stand out dish. Chicken wings make even the smallest of occasions feel like a party and they never seem to last too long. Let me show you why!
Perks and Highlights of the Best Lemon Pepper Wings
Cuisine Inspiration: Southern with a Twist These wings are deeply rooted in Southern cuisine but take a delightful detour with the zesty lemon and bold pepper combo. It’s traditional meets zingy – and it’s everything your taste buds have been waiting for!
Primary Cooking Method: Frying & Glazing We’re double-dipping here, folks! First, we fry these babies to crispy perfection in a seasoned batter that’s got personality. Then, they take a glorious bath in a honey lemon pepper glaze that’ll make your heart sing.
Dietary Info: Indulgent Delight Okay, these wings aren’t for your salad days. They’re a full-on treat, perfect for when you’re looking to indulge. Not suitable for vegetarian or low-fat diets, but hey, we’re all about balance here!
Key Flavor: Tangy, Spicy, and Sweet Imagine this: the tangy punch of lemon, the kick of pepper, and the sweet, soothing touch of honey. It’s not just a flavor profile; it’s a culinary experience.
Skill Level: Intermediate You don’t have to be a pro, but some kitchen experience will serve you well here, especially when frying and ensuring your glaze is just right. Confidence is key!
- Crowd-Pleaser: Guaranteed to wow at any gathering. Seriously, you’ll be the MVP of any party with these wings.
- Perfectly Balanced: Achieves that coveted balance of flavors; it’s sweet, spicy, tangy, and salty all in one bite.
- Adaptable Heat: You can easily adjust the pepper to suit your spice tolerance. It’s friendly like that!
- Sauce Savior: That glaze isn’t just for wings. Use it on other meats, veggies, or as a zesty dip. Hello, versatility!
- Memorable Meal: Not just a dish, but an experience. These wings leave an impression and will have folks begging for your secret!
Not to toot my own horn but these are the best Lemon Pepper Wings I’ve ever had. It all comes down to a few key ingredients that this recipe wouldn’t be the same without. Don’t worry, I’ll share my secrets with ya!
This is one of my favorite ingredients that I use for frying chicken. It creates the most perfect crunchy bite that makes fried chicken so irresistible. When combined with flour, it helps create a golden brown crust on the outside of the chicken that also becomes a barrier that helps the chicken stay super juicy inside.
Honey acts as an adhesive in this recipe; it ensures your spice blend and moisture will cling to each wing. It also adds a natural sweetness that balances out the acidity from the lemon and the heat from the cayenne.
Fresh Lemon Juice
The majority of our flavoring in this recipe comes from the lemon pepper seasoning but I prefer to add a bit of freshness as well. Just a few squeezes of lemon adds a pop of flavor! I use lemon juice in other recipes like this Breaded Chicken Piccata and Roasted Lemon Chicken and Potatoes.
Now, I don’t know about you but I love a little bit of heat in just about everything I make. Just a dash of cayenne adds a subtle heat that just about everyone will love. If you prefer spicier wings just add more cayenne, it’s that simple!
How to Make Lemon Pepper Wings
Chicken wings are almost always deep fried because let’s be honest, there’s just no better way to serve it up. But if you’re looking to be a bit healthier or want to change things up I’ve got your back.
How to Baked Wings
Frying wings can be messy and a bit time consuming but baking them is incredibly simple. I love to bake these wings for a quick weeknight dinner or for last-minute entertaining. You can bake them without the batter by just creating a spice blend with the seasonings I use in the flour mixture to fry the wings. Sprinkle the spice blend only on all sides of the wings then bake!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack on top of the foil and arrange the wings in a single layer on top.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until crispy and cooked all the way through. Toss your wings in the glaze and serve!
How to Grilled Wings
When the Summer is hot and the grill is even hotter, I love to toss up a batch of these wings. Remember to create a spice blend with the seasonings used in the flour and sprinkle the spice blend only on the wings.
Oil your grill rack, preheat to medium heat (about 350) and grill your wings for about 12 minutes. Turn your wings occasionally to help slowly render the fat and cook the flesh without burning.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for another 5-10 minutes to ensure the meat is cooked through and the skin is lightly charred and crisp. Once done, toss your wings in the glaze and enjoy!
How to Serve
- Presentation, Baby!
- Lay those golden, glossy wings out on a big, beautiful platter. You eat with your eyes first, and this visual feast starts the party right. Garnish with some fresh lemon slices or zest and perhaps a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for that pop of color and freshness.
- Dips on Dips:
- Wings are a journey, and every journey needs a few side roads. Offer a range of dips to complement the zesty lemon pepper flavor. Think cool, creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing, or keep it tangy with a yogurt-based dip. A side of extra honey lemon pepper glaze wouldn’t hurt either for those who love to double-dip into flavor town. For a crazy combo, go with a remoulade sauce.
- Crunchy Sidekicks:
- Balance is key. Pair these zesty wings with some crunchy celery, carrot sticks, or cucumber slices. They add a refreshing crunch, provide a palate cleanser, and hey, it’s a sneaky way to get those veggies in.
- Carb Companions:
- Beverage Bonanza:
- Finger-licking Napkins:
- Don’t forget the practical! These wings are messy in the best way, so have plenty of napkins on hand. Or even keep some lemon-scented wet wipes around for a touch of practical luxury.
Storage and Reheating
- Cool Completely: Let wings cool entirely before tucking them away.
- Seal Them Up: Pop them into airtight containers or zip-top bags.
- Refrigerate or Freeze: They’re good for 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Remember, label with the date!
- Oven Method: Best for crispiness. Preheat to 375°F (190°C), spread wings on a baking sheet, and heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Air Fryer Technique: Quick and effective. Set at 360°F (182°C) for 3-5 minutes.
- Skip the Microwave: It’s a shortcut, but you’ll sacrifice crunchiness.
Lemon Pepper Wings
For the Wings
- 4 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 2.5 lb party wings
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Lemon Pepper Glaze
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- a pinch of black pepper
- 3/4 tsp lemon pepper
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- lemon pepper for garnish
- Add salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon pepper, garlic, paprika and cornstarch to flour in a storage bag or paper bag and shake to mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl.
- Working with one chicken wing piece at a time, use tongs and add to egg mixture thoroughly coating and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Next, dredge the chicken wing into the flour mixture then transfer to a plate or wire rack to set.
- Repeat with all chicken pieces then let set for 15-20 minutes while you heat the oil.
- Heat 3 inches of oil in a large deep pot to 350 degrees F.
- When the oil is hot enough that it bubbles around the chicken when the edge of a piece is dripped into it, use tongs to gently and carefully place a few pieces in the oil. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Cook the chicken, turning the wing pieces every few minutes and adjusting the heat as needed, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is firm to the touch. This should take about 7-10 minutes.
- As chicken fries, prepare the glaze. Whisk together butter, pepper, lemon pepper, honey and lemon juice until smooth.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined serving platter and continue frying the rest, adding more oil to the pot if necessary.
- As chicken wings are removed and placed on paper towels, dip them in lemon pepper glaze, sprinkle top with just a little lemon pepper and serve immediately.
Sprinkle the spice blend only (no flour or cornstarch or egg will be used) on all sides of the wings then bake! Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack on top of the foil and arrange the wings in a single layer on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until crispy and cooked all the way through. Toss your wings in the glaze and serve! To Grill
Sprinkle the spice blend only on the wings (no flour, cornstarch or egg is used here). Oil your grill rack, preheat to medium heat (about 350) and grill your wings for about 12 minutes. Turn your wings occasionally to help slowly render the fat and cook the flesh without burning. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for another 5-10 minutes to ensure the meat is cooked through and the skin is lightly charred and crisp. Once done, toss your wings in the glaze and enjoy!