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!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Grilled Chicken Wings with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Barbecue Sauce

When I take chicken wings out to the grill, it’s usually along with a cast-iron griddle. Wings are super easy to grill on cast-iron since there’s no need to worry about the skin sticking to a hot grate. But sometimes I’d rather give the chicken more of a direct grill—and you really can do that without fear of getting stuck. Here’s how: Start the wings off-heat and finish over direct heat.

This method is the opposite of the start high/finish low preparation that some dishes call for. If you’re braising pork roast, for instance, you want to sear the meat first then let it cook slowly over very low heat. For wings on the grill, I’ve found that starting them slowly with indirect heat allows the meat to cook without the raw skin sticking or burning. Once they’re a little more than halfway done, you can move them over direct heat to finish with a bit of that nice lightly charred look and taste of open-flame cooking.

However you prepare the wings, a scrumptious, sticky, sweet and spicy sauce tops the smoky wings off with great flavor. 

Tip: Don’t brush it on them while they’re grilling—transfer them to the pan with the sauce and turn them in it until they’re deliciously coated all over.

Serves 2-3 (easily doubled)

  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 chicken wing pieces (drums and flappers)
  • olive oil, for brushing, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 habanero chile, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. Light a grill for medium heat with space for off-heat cooking.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small bowl. Place the wings in a large bowl and add the spice rub, coating completely. Let stand 20 minutes.
  3. Brush the off-heat side of the grill lightly with oil and place the wings on it. Close the lid and grill 10 minutes, then turn the wings over and grill another 10 minutes. Move the wings over direct heat and grill, turning a few times, until lightly charred and cooked through, 12-15 minutes longer, depending on size.
Spice-Rubbed Wings
Beginning to Grill
After Turning 
Over Direct Heat
Grilled Wings
  1. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan (large enough to hold the wings after grilling) over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chile and onion and saut├ę 2 minutes. Add the apricot preserves and remaining ingredients and season with salt.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand while the wings finish.
  3. Transfer the wings to the saucepan and turn several times to coat with sauce.
Chile and Onion
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Cooked Sauce
Stack the wings on a platter and serve.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Barbecue Sauce


  1. Looks delicious­čśâ. Will be giving your recipe a try. We have a blog hop as well we would love to have you post at: #OMHGWW
    Hope you do!

    1. Thanks, Donna! Much appreciate the invitation. I'll be happy to post recipes on your blog hop.

      Hope you enjoy the wings!


  2. These chicken wings with the apricot BBQ sauce sound amazing! Thanks for sharing at What'd You do This Weekend?! ;)