The summertime usually means lots of beer, fried foods, cheesy dips, and hot wings doused in ranch dressing. Since we love celebrating with friends and delicious food, we love coming up with wholesome versions of the classics. We've created a healthier chicken wings recipe by baking the wings instead of deep-frying and using unprocessed fats and seasonings to add flavor. If you are currently cleansing, you can feel free to use our Buffalo Cauliflower recipe instead!
Eat the Skin!
The low-fat diet fad still has some people shying away from skin-on chicken. The skin in chicken not only adds flavor and moisture but also has health benefits. Chicken skin is mainly comprised of unsaturated fats and some saturated fats. Modern studies have debunked the idea that fat (both unsaturated and saturated) causes heart disease, cholesterol issues, or high blood pressure.
Inflammation-causing sugar, processed oils, and stress are actual culprits of heart-related diseases. We don't really count calories at Clean, but rather focus on eating high-quality, whole ingredients at each meal. For those concerned with calories, a 4oz serving of chicken with skin has just thirty calories more than the skinless version!
Chicken Is Great for Energy
Chicken is one of our favorite protein choices here at Clean. Chicken is an excellent source of niacin (also known at vitamin B3). Like other B vitamins, niacin is important for energy production at the cellular level. Without each of the B vitamins, the body would be unable to convert our food into useable energy. B3 also must be present to initiate the process that breaks fat down and makes it useable to create the membranes in our cells. The health of these membranes is crucial in order to allow for proper passing of nutrients, oxygen, and water. B3 also assists with regulating our blood sugar because it plays a role in how our body metabolizes insulin.
Mood and Sleep Balancer
Chicken contains an important amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan helps increase serotonin levels, which helps increase a feeling of calm, happiness, and relaxation. Tryptophan is linked to helping insomnia sufferers fall and stay asleep. It has even been shown to help exercisers burn fat more effectively.
1 lb. chicken wings
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons hot sauce (make sure to choose a sugar-free variety, like Tabasco Original Hot Sauce)
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 lime, juiced
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry chicken wings. Toss wings with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place wings skin down on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Step 2: While the chicken wings bake, make the sauce. Melt all ingredients over low heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved and sauce is fully combined. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove chicken from oven, and generously brush each wing with sauce.
Step 3: Optionally, place chicken wings back on a wire rack for even cooking. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, and optionally broil for the final 2 minutes to caramelize the wings.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
If you like this recipe, you might also like A Gluten-Free Lamb Burger for All Your Summer Parties