My Grandma's Retro Chicken Wings Are the Best—And Only Require 4 Ingredients

They're easy, inexpensive, and—in my opinion—better than any neon orange Buffalo wings.

A tray of chicken wings coming out of an oven.
Photo: Liza Schattenkerk/Dotdash Meredith

My grandma was the true retro grandma. From the Campbell's soup cans lining her pantry to the Jello molds and coupon clippings on the table. Her food was not fancy; it was about simple, often inexpensive food, cooked with love. This time of year, with the Super Bowl right around the corner, there's one dish of hers that always comes to mind (and eventually lands on my table, too): her chicken wings.

These wings are, to me, the platonic ideal of a wing. Simple and straightforward, with just a few ingredients, they're all about the chicken not about the sauce. They're a crispier wing, dry-rubbed and juicy, but no wet wipes required after eating. Luckily, she passed down her recipe to my aunt, who, in turn, passed it down to me. The best part of her version? They have just four ingredients and could not get easier.

The Secret to My Grandma's Chicken Wings

My grandpa was an athletic trainer at our local college, the University of Washington—I still have his rose bowl ring to prove it—and they would have a lot of football staff over for parties. My grandma would make these wings and everyone adored them and asked for the recipe.

Her secret? Lawry's seasoning salt. Yes, like every grandma she had a store-bought shortcut to flavor. The wings get a good coating of flour and Lawry's and of course, a generous amount of butter (like every good grandma recipe), and that's it.

Despite just four simple ingredients, it's amazing how much people lose it over these wings. My kids request them, my friends request them, and each time I make them, people want the recipe, too. So I'm passing on her recipe to you, just as it's been passed down to me.

A blue bowl full of seasoned baked wings.
Liza Schattenkerk

My Grandma's Chicken Wings Recipe

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a large roasting pan or on a sheet pan, melt one stick of butter in the oven as it heats up. In a large bowl, shake about 3 to 4 pounds of chicken wings in a mixture of all-purpose flour and a few good shakes of Lawry's salt (measure with your heart).

Once the butter is melted and bubbly, pull the pan out of the oven and place the coated wings on the pan of hot melted butter. There's no need to toss them, but make sure they're evenly spread out on the tray so each gets heat. Top with an extra few dashes of Lawry's, and that's it.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then flip the wings over. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. My grandma served them hot out of the oven with bottled blue cheese dressing and carrot sticks—nothing fancy needed!

They taste so, so much better than the sum of their parts. From time to time, I'll even do the same technique with chicken drumsticks for a quick and easy dinner that's a surefire family favorite.

If grandmas teach us anything, it's that the ingredients can be humble and the recipes simple, so long as you cook with love.

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