Five-Spice Chicken Wings

These five-spice chicken wings are easy to toss together in minutes and taste contemporary even though they rely on a traditional spice blend. They’re baked and served with a creamy cilantro sauce for a more refined riff on classic Buffalo wings.

A bowl of five spice chicken wings.

The sweet yet not too subtle heat of five-spice powder may not be what you typically think of in terms of chicken wings. But these unconventional and very un-incendiary wings are an unexpected keeper. The easy-to-achieve crisp skin comes from the blast of a hot oven rather than the splattering of hot oil, which means ease of cooking as well as cleaning up, which only further endears these wings to us.–Renee Schettler

Five-Spice Chicken Wings

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 40
5/5 - 2 reviews
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  • For the five-spice chicken wings
  • For the creamy cilantro dipping sauce


Make the five-spice chicken wings

Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).

If you’re usign whole chicken wings, cut off the wing tips and cut the wings in half at the joint. Discard the wing tips or freeze them for making stock.

Place the wings in a large bowl. Sprinkle the five spice powder and cayenne on the wings, add a generous pinch or two of salt, and about 15 grinds of black pepper. Rub the mixture into all the wings until all the rub clings to the chicken.

Line the wing pieces up on a rimmed baking sheet so the side of the wing that has the most skin is facing up. Roast until cooked through, browned, and crisp, about 25 minutes. (If you prefer a wing that’s every iota as crisp underneath as on top, bake the wings on a wire rack situated on the baking sheet. If you prefer a wing that has one side smudged with a sort of gooey crispness from sitting in a teensy puddle of its juices during roasting, leave the wings on the baking sheet.)

Make the creamy cilantro dipping sauce

Pulse the cilantro, sour cream, mayo, yogurt, and lemon or lime juice in a food processor. (Or, lacking a processor, whisk them together.) Taste and add a judicious amount of salt and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and toss it in the fridge while the wings do their thing in the oven.

Serve the wings

Pile the wings on a platter and serve ‘em hot along with the cold creamy cilantro dipping sauce on the side. Originally published June 5, 2012.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

What an easy and simple recipe. You can make this as an appetizer or as a meal. We chose to make it as a meal and all of us loved it. It has a little kick but it’s not so strong as to make people shy away. My toddler alone ate 10 wings. Next time I will be making more of the dipping sauce as she alone ate half of it! It was perfect to lighten the flavor.

I knew I would like these chicken wings as soon as I saw "Five Spice" and this recipe did not disappoint. The warm spice blend is wonderful as-is on chicken as well as pork and a little cayenne added a sharp dimension to the rub. Thanks to the high oven temperature, the chicken wings were addictively super crisp on the outside they stayed that way even after they cooled a bit. I ate my first one without the dipping sauce and loved it. After my third wing, I started to feel the cayenne and black pepper on my lips and I was glad to have the cool creamy sauce to reach for.


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  1. Outstanding! Wings are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and packed with flavor. The cilantro dipping sauce is a great compliment to the intense flavors of the rub. We can’t have dairy, so I used dairy-free coconut yogurt and skipped the sour cream. Served it with fresh veggies—carrots, cucumber, peapods, and bell pepper—much like the carrots and celery you get with Buffalo wings. A great, simple recipe for a party.

    1. Thanks, Audrey! We’re delighted that you loved them so much. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  2. What a wonderful take on classic, deep-fried wings—I made these today and they were crispy, juicy, and plain ole’ fantastic! My 18-month-old son kept grabbing them off the platter and charging around the house squealing with joy. Thank you for sharing an easy, baked, delicious, family-friendly recipe!

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