Sweet and Tangy Wings

For me, chicken wings have sentimental value. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but I think most people have at least one food that makes them feel happy, or nostalgic, or something gushy like that. Chicken wings are one of my happy foods.

Wings were a staple of my junior and senior year of college. Every Thursday, my friends and I would race to Cornerstone, our favorite local bar, to take advantage of 25¢ wings. The thing is, you had to arrive before 10pm to get the deal. If you couldn’t get there by 10, we would call in your order to one of our friends who was already there (and if you were first to arrive you usually had to order about half a dozen varieties of wings). But what made wing night so great, is that it was a standing date with my friends. We’d eat a ton, have a vodka cranberry (pretty much all of our drink of choice at the time), and then we’d dance all night. It was a blast, and today wings still remind me of happy times with my college buddies. Below are some college pictures, circa 2007.

And it’s not just college wing night that’s special! Every year when Ryan and I go to Stone Harbor, we go out with all of our friends to the Windrift. And again, we eat a lot, have a cold beer, and dance all night. Wing nights are where the best stories are made.

So, all of that is to say, I love wings. I honestly don’t know why I don’t make wings more, because I should. This recipe is a pretty good one (although I’m going to keep trying more recipes). This recipe turns out some moist and tasty wings – although not especially spicy. The marinade was spicy, but after cooking the wings didn’t have the tingly heat I like.  But, they have a lot of great garlic and honey flavor. That might sound weird, but it works. Also, they are sticky, saucy, and make a huge mess – all of which are a sure sign of good wings.

Adapted from Season with Spice.


12 wings

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp honey (plus more for glaze, if desired)

salt & pepper, to taste


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce, and chili powder.

2. Place the chicken wings in a rimmed dish (like a Pyrex). Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for one hour or up to overnight.


3. Preheat oven to 425°.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the chicken wings on top. Do not discard the extra marinade.

5. If desired, drizzle a bit of honey over each wing. As well, you can add a bit more pepper.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the chicken wings over. Brush the bottoms with remaining marinade. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. The wings should be a bit crispy and a rich brown color.

7. Serve warm with lots of napkins.

2 spoonMessy level: The cooking part of this is actually pretty straightforward. The eating part however, is hugely messy. Average messy level is about 3 spoons.


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