Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings – The Washington Post

Lemon-pepper chicken wings are a staple among residents of Atlanta and Chicago and those with connections to those cities. Many of the local versions rely on a premade lemon-pepper seasoning blend that gets an extra zip from citric acid. The wings come either “wet” or “dry,” indicating whether a sauce is used in addition to, or in place of, the spice blend. This is a wet version with a lemon-pepper sauce that gets its flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice and freshly cracked pepper (which is preferable to the pre-ground spice since the ingredient is so prominent). If you want to mix it up, you can try a mix of peppercorns instead of just black ones for more peppery complexity and nuance.

You can also use the recipe for the wings as a base and substitute the related recipes for Gochujang-Honey Wing Sauce or Buffalo Wing Sauce instead of the lemon-pepper version. Or for a party, make a large platter with all three.

Active time: 15 mins; Total time: 2 hours

Make Ahead: The wings can be tossed with the baking powder and seasonings and refrigerated uncovered up to 1 day in advance.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.



Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 20 pieces

  • For the wings
  • 2 pounds chicken wings (drumettes and flats)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or mixed peppercorns

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

  • For the lemon pepper sauce
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or mixed peppercorns

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

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Make the wings: Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place a wire rack inside. Add the wings to a large bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with the baking powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss until the wings are evenly coated. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate uncovered — ideally on the bottom shelf, for food safety purposes — up to overnight. (A longer refrigeration leads to crispier wings. If refrigerating the wings, bring to room temperature before cooking.)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Roast the wings for 20 minutes. Flip the wings and continue to roast for 20 to 30 minutes more, until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit while you make the lemon-pepper sauce.

Make the lemon-pepper sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, pepper and salt, and swirl it around in the hot butter for 30 seconds to infuse it with citrus and spice. Stir in the lemon juice.

Using tongs, transfer the wings to a large bowl, add the lemon pepper sauce and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the wings to a platter, making sure to pour any sauce remaining in the bowl over the top, and serve with lemon wedges for anyone who wants extra pucker.

Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.


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