If there’s one snack I just cannot turn down, it’s a saucy plate of chicken wings (OKOK, it’s not the only one…fries, chips, nachos, etc. … but wings are definitely up there). I mean, a juicy piece of dark chicken meat encased on all sides in crispy chicken skin (undoubtedly the best part of the chicken itself) and smothered in sauce? Likeeeee, common. Who could say no, minus of course, the vegetarians, vegans, health-conscious folk among us. I like you people, and I have lots of recipes that you’d LOVE, but this my friends, is not one of them. Avert your eyes, because the photos below are verging on X-rated material for a true meat-eating lady like myself.
I am a serious chicken wing craver, and since I’ve started making them, I actually crave them more. Consider yourself warned. I am the ultimate fan of a true spicy, blow-your-top-off, red-sauce covered, crispy fried wing, but of course, there’s no way I could recreate those at home without deep frying. And I’ve made a pact with myself that I shall never deep fry something myself, because I know, deep down in my gut, that I will get totally and completely addicted. Abstinence from deep frying is the only answer.
If I can’t deep fry, though, how am I to make my own delicious crispy wings in the comfort of my own home, you ask? Easy. Step 1: don’t mess with a good thing. The Buffalo-style crispy battered wing is a thing of beauty that I just can’t compete with. So I knew on my quest to create a delicious at-home, non-fried wing, I’d have to take a totally different flavour and texture approach. 2. Be resourceful, get creative, and think like a deep fryer. Deep fryers are really f*ckin hot, and the only other thing I could think that even comes close to being that dang hot was the barbecue. I am obsessed with the BBQ for this reason exactly. It gets SO hot, so it mimics the function of a lots of things I wish I owned but never will, including a deep fryer and pizza oven.
This is how I arrived at the original recipe for my sweet and spicy wings over the grill, and over time, I’ve had the chance to test these on a number of different hungry customers to arrive at the perfect at-home wing. Ever since I came up with this recipe, however, I’ve realized it’s the thing I’ve been missing my whole life! It is such a great item to bring to a potluck, backyard barbecue or party when you’re not sure what else to do. They’re easy, they look amazinggggg on the plate, they taste good both hot and cold, and literally EVERYONE loves them. Please give this recipe a go and let me know what you think!!
Photography by Robert Soegtrop
Sweet and Spicy Barbecued Chicken Wings
Spice up your next backyard barbecue with these ooey gooey chicken wings in an garlic, chili, soy sauce chicken wings! No fryer needed!
For wings and marinade
- 1 kg chicken wings, split
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- Zest of 1 lime
For wing sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 large cloves, or 4 normal cloves)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 1-2 tbsp Sriracha (depending on your spice preference)
- 1/4 cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 Green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
- 2 tsp Sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tbsp Fresh red chili, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 Lime, cut into wedges
Marinate chicken (at least 1.5 hours before serving, but up to 24 hours ahead of time). In a large Ziploc bag, pour in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, mustard, and lime zest. Add the wings, remove air from and seal the bag, and squish everything around to ensure the wings are well coated. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
Prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, Sriracha, and water. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then reduce to a low simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken and become very fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. This can be prepared ahead of time. Right before serving, place back on the heat (or in the microwave) until hot. Strain the sauce, using a spoon to ensure all the liquid drips out of the garlic and ginger remnants. Finish the sauce with the juice of one lime.
Preheat grill to medium-high (see notes for oven instructions if you don't have a grill)*. Remove the wings from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the wings directly onto an oiled grill ** and close the lid. Check the wings after 5-7 minutes, because some may be in hotter spots on the grill than other. Adjust accordingly. Flip the wings once they are nice and golden brown with grill marks, about 8-10 minutes per side. Leave one section of the grill on low heat, so if some of the wings cook faster than others, move them to the cooler section. Once all wings are well cooked, brown, and slightly crispy on the outside, remove from the grill.
In a large bowl, toss the wings in most of the sauce, reserving a bit for dipping. Plate the wings, and garnish with fresh red chilies, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds. Place the extra sauce in a small bowl for dipping. Serve alongside LOTS of napkins and enjoy!
*If you don't have a barbecue, these can easily be made in the oven at 415 °F for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure to flip them halfway through to ensure crispiness on both sides.
**Once your grill is hot, lightly oil the grill. Put on some oven mitts and brush on a small amount of oil to the grill grates with a basting brush (just a small amount! The oil shouldn't be dripping off the brush). If no brush, lightly soak a piece of paper towel with oil and rub the grill grates. Remember to use an oven mitt and you can even hold the paper towel with tongs.