Here we go! We have made our fare share of chicken wings since we bought our instant pot and air fryer. We always make it back to salt and pepper chicken wings we pressure cook in our instant pot and then roasted until they’re golden brown in our air fryer. You can spend top dollar for mouth watering crispy chicken wings at your local Asian restaurant that always leave you wanting more or you can make as many as you want in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price, and it’s fun too.
We need to make the marinade that takes the flavor of these wings to a whole different level. Dice one whole head of garlic. I know, that’s a lot of work, but do what you can to get through it. I do not use jarred diced garlic because the flavor is different and not nearly as good as fresh diced garlic.
Melt 3 Tbsp of butter and add to a large mixing bowl. Then 2 Tbsp of your best olive oil. Drop in all of the diced garlic along with 1 Tbsp of salt, 1 Tbsp of fresh ground black pepper, 1 tsp of granulated garlic plus 1/2 tsp of granulated onion. I use granulated garlic and onion over garlic or onion powder because there are no other ingredients added.
We have about 15 whole chicken wings, about 3.5 pounds, that we need to be cut into segments. Using a sharp chefs knife, cut through the joint to remove the wing tip and throw the wing tip away. The next cut is through the elbow joint. This is a bit tricky sometimes, carefully roll the wing front to back to front and back again while you push the blade of your knife down into the elbow joint until your knife find’s the joint and sinks right through.
Add all of the chicken wing segments to the large bowl with the marinade and mix the wings into the marinade very well. I use tongs to spin the wings down into the marinade ingredients until the wings are completely covered in marinade ingredients. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal in the flavor and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. I usually start my wings in the morning and let them soak up the flavor until dinner time, about 8 hours.
We need to make the sauce that we will toss the crispy chicken wings in at the end now so the flavors have a chance to infuse into one another. Add 2 Tbsp of sesame oil to a medium small bowl followed by 1 Tbsp of good peanut oil (the more expensive peanut oil that comes in a small bottle has much more flavor than the peanut oil that comes in the large plastic bottles for frying). Stir in 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder.
Slice 3-4 green onions into small pieces and stir into the oils and granulated garlic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to sit.
When we’re about 1 hour from dinner time, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the instant pot and rub the oil into the inside of the pot with a paper towel to make clean up easier. Place your instant pot trivet into the instant pot and stack the marinated chicken wings in a pile on top of the trivet topping the pile with whatever marinade is left at the bottom of the marinade bowl.
Put the instant pot lid on to your instant pot and seal the pressure release valve. Press the pressure cook button on the instant pot and set the time for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are finished and the instant pot beeps at you, let the instant pot sit and pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. I set a kitchen timer or use the timer on my phone to let me know to get back to work. The chicken wings have been pressure cooking for a total of 25 minutes and are ready for the next step.
Open the pressure release valve to let the steam escape from the instant pot. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes or preheat your broiler, on high if you have an option of low and high. Oil the hot air fryer basket or broiler pan if needed.
I use the EVO olive oil sprayer for our air fryer and love it! I broke the pump oil sprayers pretty quickly and have had only great experience with the EVO sprayer.
After the pin has dropped on the instant pot lid, remove the instant pot lid.
After the steam clears, using tongs, move the wings to the air fryer basket or broiler pan leaving just enough room for air to move around the wings. You do not want the wings to be touching, they turn out crispy all over when they have room to breath. I did 2 batches of wings in the air fryer.
Air fry or broil the chicken wings at 400°F for 10 minutes flipping the wings after 7 minutes and then air fry or broil for the remaining 3 minutes.
I like to let the meats I cook in the air fryer go a little past halfway before I flip to build a nice crisp on the bottom side from the fast moving hot air blowing around, down and directly to the underside of what I’m cooking before I flip.
Keep an eye on the wings toward the end to make sure they do not burn. You can always go longer if you like your wings a little more crispy but you can’t undo to much crispy.
Spoon all of the green onion sesame oil mixture that you prepared earlier into a large mixing bowl followed by all of the crispy chicken wings from the air fryer or broiler. I use tongs and spin the wings down into the oil and green onions for a couple minutes to make sure the wings are completely covered in extra flavor.
We serve our salt and pepper chicken wings with steamed broccoli or vegetables in a Szechuan or sesame sauce and a pile of brown rice. We usually have our leftover wings with a premade salad from our grocery store.
I have not always had the patients for dissecting a head of garlic and have used an extra teaspoon of granulated garlic and only added a few diced cloves of garlic instead. The chicken wings do not taste like fresh garlic, they taste like granulated garlic or the garlic powder you use instead. I recommend taking the time to tare down a head of garlic and dicing it for your wings.
I let a batch of wings get pretty dark in the air fryer at 400F and the garlic left on the skin burned giving it a not so good garlic flavor and smell. They were still good but not as good as when they are the perfect golden brown crispy.
Cooking the chicken wings in the instant pot first breaks down all the tough fibers in the chicken wing meat making for a ridiculously tender and juicy chicken wing. The whole wing devouring process is much more enjoyable.