Brown Sugar Chipotle Wings

DSC07595-otm@tk-brown sugar wings.jpg

Adapted from
Meredith Steele
Steele House
November 20, 2015

For this Super Bowl Party LI (51), I was looking for something that had a taste of something that was sweet, spicy  and smoky with a touch of heat. I found this recipe for these baked Brown Sugar Chipotle Wings made with McIhenny Tabasco®  Chipotle Pepper Sauce. This particular flavor of pepper sauce blends Mexican heritage with the Louisiana traditions of Cajun and Creole cooking. A most divine combination, if I say so myself. Anyways, to make a long story short, these wings came out crispy with the meat practically falling off the bone and were ever so tender. This is just about the most perfect finger food for a party, game day or for any time that you want a quick snack to satisfy the flavor cravings. And the best part about it, you don’t have to fry the wings in a pot of hot oil!

Serves 4 to 6

3 – 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drums and flats, tip discarded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons  light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons  McIhenny Tabasco®  Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and set rack inside. Using  paper towels, pat the  chicken wings dry and place on a large rimmed baking sheet, being careful not to overlap.

Place 1/3 of wings in large bowl, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt, and toss until thoroughly and evenly coated. Place on rack, leaving slight space between each wing. Repeat with remaining two batches of wings.

Place the wings in the oven and roast for 35 minutes. Flip wings, and continue to roast for 15 to 25 minutes longer until golden and crisp.

While the wings are roasting, combine hot melted butter, brown sugar, Tabasco® Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce, and salt in a large bowl that is big enough to hold all the wings. Stir until smooth and sugar has dissolved.

Immediately after the wings come out of the oven, transfer them to the sauce and toss to coat. Plate the wings and serve.

Beer Pairings: wheat beers such as Hefeweizen or even a raspberry Lambic.

Cook’s Notes:
Baking powder, not to be mistaken with baking soda, is a leavening agent usually used in baked goods such as cookies and cakes. It’s a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar and cornstarch. When mixed with salt and coated on chicken the baking powder dries out the skin, leaving it crisp and crunchy. The science behind this cooking technique is that the addition of the baking powder raises the pH level in the chicken, making the wings more alkaline (basic) allowing the peptide bonds of the proteins in the skin to weaken, creating a texture that is less leathery or papery, and more crispy.

DO NOT use baking soda as a substitute for the baking powder. Baking soda will give your wings a  very distinct salty and  metallic bitterness that will not be pleasing to your taste buds.

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