This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Cowboy Butter Chicken Wings are crispy fried chicken wings smothered in a lemon-garlic butter sauce with lots of herbs and seasonings. Grab the napkins and dig in!
Delicious Cowboy Butter Chicken Wings
Ever since we shared this recipe for Cowboy Butter, we’ve been mixing up a batch to enjoy with all kinds of foods. Our latest, favorite serving suggestion is Cowboy Butter Chicken Wings!
What is Cowboy Butter?
It’s basically a sauce made with melted butter, lemon juice, fresh garlic, Dijon mustard, shallots, horseradish, and lots of fresh herbs and seasonings. It’s served warm and melted so you can spoon it over steak, dip cornbread in it, or – in the case of today’s recipe – tossed crispy fried chicken wings in it!
Why you’ll love Cowboy Butter Chicken Wings
- The zesty and herbaceous cowboy butter is fantastic as a coating on crispy fried chicken wings.
- This is an easy recipe to prepare, and you might even have many of the ingredients on hand in your pantry and refrigerator.
- It’s a crowd favorite at any party and a perfect menu addition when feeding a hungry crowd.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cowboy Butter – Follow this recipe here. You’ll need unsalted butter, lemon juice and lemon zest, garlic, shallots, Dijon mustard, prepared horseradish, a variety of fresh herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and cayenne.
- Chicken Wings – Buy large, meaty chicken wings — fresh if possible, or a quality brand of frozen chicken wings. You’ll cut off the wing tips (save them in the freezer for your next batch of chicken stock), then separate wingette at the joint from the drumette.
- Vegetable Oil – For frying the chicken wings.
Special Tools Needed
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife
- Two Sheet Trays with Racks
- Paper Towels
- Long-handled Tongs
- Large Spider Strainer or Long-Handled Slotted Spoon
- Large Heavy Pot of Dutch Oven – For frying the chicken wings.
- Large Bowl – To toss the cooked wings in the Cowboy Butter.
- Candy Thermometer – To help maintain the oil temperature as the chicken wings fry.
How do I make Cowboy Butter Chicken Wings?
- Make the Cowboy Butter and set aside.
- Cut wing tips from each chicken wing and freeze them in a plastic bag for a future chicken stock recipe. Cut the remaining wing at the joint to yield a drumette and a wingette.
- Lay the chicken wings out on parchment paper and pat both sides of the chicken with paper towels to dry.
- Heat vegetable oil on high in a large, heavy pot. Heat to 350 degrees F.
- While the oil heats, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
- Fry wings in batches (6 to 8 wings at a time). Fry each batch for approximately eight minutes or until they float (smaller wings will take less time, large meaty wings will take the full 8 minutes), then remove with a spider strainer to rack-covered sheet tray to drain.
- Move cooked wings to a large bowl and ladle on some Cowboy Butter. Toss to coat. Keep batches in a warm oven on another rack covered sheet tray.
- Serve with more Cowboy Butter on the side.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s important to dry your chicken wings before frying. This is the key to a crispy fried wing. It will also help prevent splatters and possible bubbling over of the oil on the stove. It’s best to dry with paper towels then dry again with more paper towels just before frying to ensure no moisture remains on the surface skin.
- Frying in oil that’s at the correct temperature – and keeping it at that temperature – is critical to achieving perfectly fried and crispy wings. A candy thermometer works fine, or a heat gun if you have one. Cook the wings in batches of six to eight at a time to avoid cooling down the oil too much. Also make sure the oil temperature doesn’t get above 350 degrees F as the chicken wings cook (they will scorch). Allow the oil to recover to 350 degrees F before starting the next batch of wings.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Chicken Wings with Cowboy Butter ahead of time? Make the Cowboy Butter in advance, but wings are best freshly fried.
- How do I store leftovers? Store refrigerated for up to three days. Any leftover Cowboy Butter will last up to a week in the refrigerator and is great on any grilled meat (especially steak), fish, or as a vegetable dip.
- How do I reheat leftovers? Heating the wings in a medium oven then toss again in leftover Cowboy Butter. If you’re in a hurry, you can reheat the wings in the microwave, however the chicken will not be as crispy as reheating in the oven.
- Can I freeze? Yes, these freeze well.
Click here for more delicious Chicken Recipes!
5 pounds fresh whole chicken wings (approximately 12 whole wings)
1 recipe Cowboy Butter
Vegetable oil, enough to fill a large, heavy pot halfway for frying
- Cut the tips from the chicken wings and freeze for the next time you make homemade chicken stock. Five pounds should be about 12 whole wings.
- Hold the wing up like the letter V and with a sharp knife, cut straight down through the joint. You should now have 24 pieces.
- Place two racks over two sheet trays.
- Lay the pieces out on parchment and pat each side dry with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature while you make the Cowboy Butter.
- Make the Cowboy Butter according to this recipe.
- Fill a deep heavy pot or Dutch oven halfway with vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Do not let the oil get hotter than 350 degrees F.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F to keep wings hot between batches. Can be re-tossed in the cowboy butter again to re-moisten.
- Depending on the size, cook 6-8 pieces at a time by patting one last time with paper towels then using long-handled tongs and placing them in the hot oil. Use a spider to make sure they don’t stick to each other as they start to cook.
- For smaller pieces, cook about six minutes or until a probe thermometer inserted into the meat registers 160 degrees F. Try not to touch the bone with the probe. For larger pieces, like the drumette, cook about eight minutes, again testing with the thermometer before removing.
- Remove to a rack covered sheet tray using the spider to slightly drain then place into a large bowl and toss with a small ladle full of the cowboy butter. Keep batches in the warm oven to stay hot by laying cooked pieces on the second sheet tray.
- After finishing the last batch, toss all pieces again with more cowboy butter to moisten then serve three pieces per person, with the remaining cowboy butter on the side for dipping.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.