I know I’ve been going on and on about how excited I am to really start cooking seasonally and commit to the Fall food palette, but these wings, oh these wings—I just can’t hold them back from you—
Even though they kinda scream summer to me.
Which I know is silly ‘cause there’s nothing inherently summery about chicken wings—they’re a football-watching staple, right?
And even though these get fired up on the grill, most of us have the ability to grill all year long and I’ve even included an easy broiler method contingency plan for when you can’t or don’t want to venture outdoors.
Still…as I was lying (laying? ugh!) in bed last night, wrestling with the very difficult decision of whether to share these now or hold off on them till next spring, I felt like I had to justify a post-Labor Day grilled chicken wing post.
So, here goes: you should make these now because the marinade is super duper easy and infuses the chicken with just the right balance of sweet and zing—these totally hit the bliss point, if you know what I mean and when you baste the wings with some reserved marinade, they get all sticky and finger-lickin’ good and new season or not, we all owe it to ourselves to include as much happiness as we can into every single day. Enough of a sell? Did I hit your heart and your tummy?
Now that I’ve excused these wings which really need no excuse, I can refocus on the pumpkins, apples and squash! More fall goodies coming your way…
Sweet ‘N Spicy Wings
Makes 6 servings as a main course
Prep Time: 10 minutes for marinade, plus at least an hour for chicken to marinate and up to overnight. Bake Time: 45 minutes; Grill Time: 10 minutes
13 ounce jar apricot preserves
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 pounds chicken wings
Chopped scallions for garnish (optional)
1. Whisk together well. all of the ingredients except the wings in a large bowl. Remove about 1/3 of the marinade and set it aside. Add the chicken wings and toss well to coat with the marinade. Cover and chill for several hours or even overnight. (If you’re going the overnight route, you should cover and chill the reserved marinade too.)
2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the wings in a single even layer on the sheet and bake them for about 45 minutes. Discard the marinade the wings have been sitting in. You can bake the wings several hours ahead of time and then leave them at room temperature before the last minute grilling. You could also skip the grilling entirely and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes.
3. If you are grilling, oil the grates of the grill and preheat. Place the wings on the grill and baste with the reserved marinade, turning them several times during the process and basting them a few times, top and bottom so you really seal the flavor in and the wings have some blackened spots on them —this should probably only take 5 minutes or so because the wings are almost entirely cooked through—you are just doing this to glaze them. Remove wings from grill, garnish with scallions (if using) and serve immediately.
4. If you are doing these entirely inside, bake wings first and remove them from the oven. Turn on the broiler. Baste wings and cook under broiler for a minutes (not too close or they’ll just burn up) and then remove, turn the wings over and baste the bottoms. Return to the oven and broil another minute, repeating the basting and turning process a few times until wings have some blackened spots on them. Garnish with scallions if using and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Food & Wine. I tinkered with this a lot—increased the marinade, cut the paprika and ginger, marinated wings instead of just using it as a glaze and baked wings before grilling.