Not too long ago, I got to take a long weekend trip to Florida – of course, the beaches & the ocean were fabulous, but if ya follow me, ya gotta know by now, I’m all about the food, lol! We had outstanding pizza at this little wood-fired oven pizza place, Joe Mama’s in Port St. Joe, but it was the Garlic Herb Chicken Wings that stole my heart!
Those wings were all extra! I’ve never had anything like them. They were obviously dry rubbed and then they were served up with caramelized onion, roasted cloves of garlic, and a shower of finely grated Parmesan.
About Garlic Herb Chicken Wings:
Now the wings on this page aren’t an exact copycat, but Joe Mama’s was the inspiration so they deserve a big shout-out! They describe their wings as “Wood Oven Roasted Wings w/ caramelized onions, garlic, parmesan, scallions, garlic & herb dressing.”
I am not in possession of a wood-fired oven, folks, and I bet most of you aren’t either. I agonized a bit over how I might mimic those wings. Oven then Broiler? Grill? I even considered smoking them. And I finally settled on my air-fryer. I’ll give you some great hints, below, on how to get the best crispy wings using your air fryer. I’ll also let you know what to do if you don’t have an air fryer. (Besides get one, that is!)
I also changed up the seasoning a bit from Joe Mama’s. The waiter gave us a few hints, but as I was pulling out my spices, I thought about how good a little lemon pepper would be in that rub and so I added it in and added a bit of lemon juice to my homemade garlic herb dressing.
No Air Fryer? No Worries:
I love how tasty these dry-rubbed wings turned out in the air fryer and I can’t guarantee the exact same results (I haven’t tested and the different methods will yield a slightly different wing) when using the methods below, but you’ll get close.
- If you’re a fan of grilling or smoking, I’d say go for it! That will give you more flavor, and that’s never wrong! Your wings won’t be as crispy, though. I don’t typically use either method for wings so you’re on your own as far as heat and timing.
- If you like Instant Pot Wings, you can roughly follow my recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Wings. Cook in the IP then finish on the grill or under your broiler. You won’t glaze, of course. Make sure to cover the wings heavily with the seasoning as you’ll lose some to steam in the IP.
- If you’d like to go oven all the way, first roasting and then broiling, you can roughly follow the temp and timing of my Thai Chicken Wings, omitting the basting. And rather than marinating, you can apply the rub and cook or apply the rub as I direct, below, for a crispier, tastier wing and then cook.
Making Garlic Herb Chicken Wings:
This first step is optional and can only be used if you have time and room in your fridge. It will help give you the crispiest wings with the best, most flavorful skin!
- Toss your wings in a colander to drain (especially if they were frozen) then pat dry.
- Lay them out on a rack over a sheet pan, sprinkle heavily with the rub, turn and sprinkle again.
- Loosely cover: lay a piece of parchment or foil over the top of the wings and refrigerate for at least three to four hours, overnight is best.
If you don’t have the time or space to add the dry rub and let it do its magic, pat your wings dry and add the rub before cooking.
When ready to cook, lay the wings out in your air fryer, working in batches if necessary. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil and cook at about 390 degrees F for 24 minutes, turning halfway. Do double-check the timing for your air fryer.
When fresh out of the fryer, toss in a bowl, drizzle with just a little, maybe a tablespoon or two of the dressing, and toss to coat.
Serve topped with the caramelized onions and garlic, shaved Parmesan, and thinly sliced green onion. Joe Mama’s served theirs on a parchment-lined plate, so I mimicked that!
Making the Caramelized Onions & Garlic & the Dressing:
You’re only going to need a small amount of Caramelized Onions, so plan on about 15 minutes or so to cook them up. You can cook them up as the wings do their thing in the air fryer. One half onion is really enough for just one batch, so if you aren’t making more wings, add the remainder to a Ziploc and you can use it later for anything. I freeze the extra.
I like to start out the onions with water and lid them as they cook; that quick steam helps the onions soften enough to start caramelizing with very little fuss and bother & makes the process quicker!
The “dressing” is a simple matter and highlights the lemony, garlic flavor. It’s just a small amount to shake and drizzle on the warm wings. Using a garlic press is ideal here!
Adjusting the Flavor & Seasoning:
I added in the lemon flavor on a whim, and love it. Note that the original wings from Joe Mama’s don’t have lemon. It can be omitted, and the lemon juice in the dressing can be replaced with a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
Of course, you can use this recipe with any rub you desire! Make it your own and use your fave spice blend or rub. Maybe you’d like to take a look at my spice blends for some inspiration?
How to Store Garlic Herb Chicken Wings:
Store your wings in the fridge, covered for three to four days. Let them cool before covering to prevent condensation. Reheat in the microwave on a low setting turning as needed.
Know that when reheating, the texture will suffer a bit, but will still taste delicious.
Wings can be pricey little devils, so it pays to shop around and buy on sale, and you’re going to find them at rock bottom prices right before just about any holiday. Stock up and toss in your freezer! There are so many ways to buy wings that a while back I put together a post on Wing Prices – Comparing Options.
If you’re curious how much it costs to run a freezer, the average is about $4.99 a month. Less than the cost of a Big Mac. Just sayin’. You might want to take a peek at my articles on Banking Your Food and Freezer Options.
I hope you all enjoy these wings! They’re truly fabulous and the bit of extra time and energy for the dry rub and the caramelizing of those onions and garlic are truly worth it!
If you’re reading this as I post it, Happy Fourth of July to you!
Mollie & ChancePrint
Garlic Herb Chicken Wings
- Prep Time: 10 minutes + optional marinade time
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes + marinade time
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: appetizer
- Method: air fryer
- Cuisine: American
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- good pinch of granulated sugar
Caramelized Onion & Garlic:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, halved & sliced pole to pole about 1/3” thick
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 head garlic cloves, peeled
- pinch of sugar
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove or two small cloves of garlic, minced finely
- pinch of salt & pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 recipe rub
- 1 recipe caramelized onions & garlic
- 1 recipe garlic dressing
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- a good sprinkle finely sliced green onion
For the Rub:
Mix together all ingredients, set aside
For the Caramelized Onions & Garlic:
Slice one in half, then working from pole to pole, slice about 1/3rd of an inch thick. Add to pan with a tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and bring to a good simmer, and leave them for about five to seven minutes. You can quickly check them as they steam.
When the water is evaporated and the onions are starting to brown, add in the peeled garlic cloves, then add a good pinch of plain old granulated sugar and keep stirring over medium-low heat.
If the onions stick or are in danger of burning, add a little more water and continue to cook, stirring now and then, until onions and garlic are softened and browned, about another 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside. Use half and reserve half for another use. Freeze that half if desired.
For the Dressing:
Add all ingredients to a jar and shake well, set aside.
Drain wings in a colander, then pat dry. Liberally coat with the spice mixture on both sides. If time and space are available, lay on a rack over a sheet pan, cover loosely, and set in refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight. The longer the better.
Add to air fryer set to grill, 390 degrees F. (or your manufacturer’s instructions for wings) for a total of 24 minutes, turning halfway through.
When done, add to a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of the dressing, while tossing. Place on parchment on a plate or platter, top with 1/2 of the Caramelized Onions & Garlic, Parmesan, and Green Onions.
Keywords: Appetizer, Caramelized Onion, Cheese, Chicken, chicken wings, Green Onion, parmesan