Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Barbecue Chicken Wings with Chipotle-Maple Sauce

I think grilled chicken wings taste better than wings prepared any other way—and, of course, they’re not as fatty as the deep-fried kind. Grilling gives them a pleasant smoky taste and locks in juiciness without leaving them greasy.

That said, grilling wings directly on the rack above the flame can result in stuck skin and torn meat when you try to turn them. That’s where a cast-iron griddle comes in. Cast-iron gets super hot with evenly distributed heat, so the wings get great grill flavor while cooking on a flat surface—and turning without tearing.

Two key points: Give the griddle five to 10 minutes over a medium-high flame to get hot before you brush with oil. And keep the oil to a minimum—just enough to glaze the griddle, not fry the wings.

I don’t always make my own barbecue sauce for wings, but when I do, I feel better about eating them. There’s something about fresh ingredients and controlling what those ingredients are that makes homemade sauce unbeatable.

This recipe is a little sweet, a little spicy, and very flavorful. Goes great with the smoky wings.

For an oven-roasted wing recipe, check out Japanese-Style Chicken Wings with Miso-Sesame Glaze.

Serves 3-4


For the Sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the Wings
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • 18 chicken wing pieces (drums and flappers)
  • olive oil, for brushing

For the Sauce
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic, chipotle peppers, and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
Garlic, Chipotle, and Shallot
  1. Add the next 6 ingredients (through mustard) and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook slowly, 20 minutes.
  2. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let rest while the wings grill. (May also be made 1 day ahead. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.)
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Chipotle-Maple Sauce
For the Wings
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Place the wings in a large bowl and add the spice rub, coating the wings. Set aside while the grill heats.
Wings with Spice Rub
  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Place a cast-iron griddle over the flame and heat 5 minutes. Brush with olive oil and place the wings on it.
  2. Grill 10 minutes, then turn and grill another 10 minutes. Continue grilling, turning every 5 minutes, for a total of 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the wings.
Wings Beginning to Grill 
Wings after Turning
  1. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the chipotle-maple sauce.
Grilled Wings with Sauce Added
Stack the wings on a platter and serve hot. 

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