A couple of weeks ago while reading my news feed I came across an article that grabbed my attention immediately. The article was about a new documentary which is about finding the best Chicken Wings in the US. Now, let me come clean here and tell you right away that I  have a deep fondness for Buffalo Wings. I like them spicy, I like them juicy, and I have a horrible reputation –when I am in the privacy of my home– to dig into them like a cavewoman, resulting in stains all over my face. I know, it’s not a pretty picture. But you know what? I am keeping it real and being honest about how much I love CHICKEN WINGS! I have a few weaknesses when it comes to choosing something to have along with a nice cold glass of beer: Buffalo Wings, French Fries, or Nachos.

Now back to the documentary…I love watching documentaries and this one, well it explored where to find the best version of one of my weaknesses. The name of the documentary is The Great Chicken Wing Hunt. If you enjoy Chicken Wings, then I highly recommend checking it out.


So the Sous Chef and I had ourselves a nice date and enjoyed some Chicken Wings while watching the documentary. I learned a lot from this documentary, specifically, where Buffalo wings were created, how they got their name, and how they are made. I have to confess this “ignorance is a bliss” saying is so true. I had never really thought about the fact that chicken wings are fried; most importantly, I didn’t know that they were tossed in butter. I thought that the wings are simply tossed in the buffalo sauce, but it never occurred to me that there is plenty of butter in there too. The documentary inspired me to come up with my own Persian version of Chicken Wings and I knew saffron was going to be my go to spice. However, my chicken wings were not going to be fried. Oh no!

I consulted my cookbooks and the internet for inspiration.  Alton Brown‘s no fry cooking method spoke to me. I did a few experiments and two recipes ended up being my favorites. Today, I am posting the recipe that I feel is closer to the traditional chicken wing preparation. In the future I will post the second one, as it is definitely a keeper.


12 whole chicken wings
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brewed saffron
2 tbsp fresh squeezed  lime or lemon
salt & pepper
cooking spray

Wash wings and pat dry.

Cut the tip of the wing, then cut the wings and drummettes at the joint.  Discard the wing tips.

Place the chicken pieces in a steamer basket and steam covered for 10 minutes.

You will have to do this in two batches unless you have a two tired basket.

In the mean time melt butter with brewed saffron. For this recipe, you may want to splurge a little and make sure that you use enough saffron so that it has a nice bright and dense color. Set the saffron butter aside.

Line a cookie sheet with a paper towel. Arrange the chicken pieces on a cooling rack placed on the cookie sheet. Gently pat dry and allow to come to room temperature.

Replace the paper towel under the cooling rack with parchment paper. Move chicken pieces around so that they do not touch making sure that there is space between them. Lightly spray with oil.

Roast in the oven at 425° for 35 to 40 minutes make sure to flip them half way through. Once the wings come out, they should be nice and crispy.

One minute before the wings are done warm the saffron butter until melted. As soon as the wings come out of the oven, pour melted saffron butter in a large bowl. Add fresh lime juice then season generously with salt and pepper, mix well.

Add wings and toss until all the wings are coated with the seasoning.

The chicken wings will be perfectly crispy, have saffron’s color and delicate taste with a touch of tang from the lines. While traditionally Chicken Wings are served with Blue Cheese, I felt that any dip will take away from the delicate taste of the saffron. Serve these delicious wings with a side of carrot, celery and cucumber sticks with Mast-o-musir dip.


On a final note, since I am talking about my food weaknesses, let me share with you one of my past guilty pleasures. Way back in the days I had a dirty little secret: I found the reality show Newlyweds very entertaining. For whatever reason there are two scenes that I cannot forget from that series because they made me laugh out loud to the point of tears. One was when Jessica Simpson thought that tuna from the Chicken of Sea brand was chicken. I didn’t think she could top that, but she did when she thought Buffalo Wings come from actual buffalos!


Skip to 1:55 to the restaurant scene.

On that note, enjoy these delicious Saffron Chicken Wings! For those of you who live in the US and will be watching the Superbowl this Sunday, this is a great recipe to make!!

This is not a paid or sponsored post, the views expressed are solely of My Persian Kitchen’s author Sanam Lamborn.