If you’re ready to up your game in the chicken wing department, and score big points with your home team, these oven-baked Chinese Chicken Wings are exactly what you should make for your next party. These are the best crispy baked chicken wings and they're tossed in a easy-to-make dry rub that’s bursting with spicy, smoky flavor. Skip the sauce, save your furniture, and take your tastebuds on the adventure of a lifetime.
Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack inside. Gently pat chicken wings dry with paper towels.
Place half of wings in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. Toss until evenly coated. Place on rack so that wings are not touching.
Repeat with remainder of wings, salt, and baking powder. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, at least 6 hours and up to 18.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add chicken wings and cook for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, combine cumin, fennel seeds, peppers, and Szechuan peppercorns in a small skillet and toast over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the sugar and the remaining salt and grind into a rough powder (or use mortar and pestle).
When wings are finished, transfer to a large bowl and toss with oil. Add half of the spice blend, toss to coat, and then taste one wing. Add more spice blend to taste if desired. Garnish with cilantro if desired.