If Sweet Spicy Chicken Wings didn’t get their start here in Mexico they sure should have. Chipotle peppers are really dried smoked jalapeno peppers. It is a process that I might write about one day but today it is all about the wings. Why, because I have a couple of buddies coming over to watch some football. I promised I would make the Sweet Spicy Chicken Wings if they would bring the beer…I think I got the better part of that deal
Thanks to their distinctive smokey flavor, canned chipotle peppers really bring this recipe to life, but they can be a little intimidating if you haven’t worked with them before.
Here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
First, be careful while handling the peppers not to rub your eyes! If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves.
Most recipes call for a very small amount (for good reason!), which means you end up with an almost full can when you finish. To get around this, remove the peppers from the can and pour all of the flavorful liquid (adobo sauce) into a food processor. If you don’t have one, use a small glass bowl. Cut the peppers in half and scrape out and discard the seeds. The seeds pack a lot of heat, so keep some of them if you like extra spice.
Place the peppers in your food processor and pulse them until a paste is formed. If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince the peppers with a knife and add them to the bowl of reserved Adobo sauce. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Next, line a large plate with plastic wrap and scoop the pepper paste in 1 teaspoon measurements onto the plate, leaving enough space between them that they don’t run together. Place plate in the freezer to harden. Once set, wrap the edges of the plastic wrap around the now-firm pepper paste portions and place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze. Pull out 1 or 2 teaspoon-sized portions and use in your favorite chili or other recipe that calls for a little heat.
Start small with the amount of chipoltle peppers you use. You can always add more if you like a little more heat.
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salt free butter
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1 T. fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 tsp canned chipoltle peppers
- ⅓ cup honey (clover is used in this recipe)
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 T. rice wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken wings to baking sheet in a single layer, not touching or overcrowding. Season wings with salt and pepper, then place in oven. Bake until skin is crisp, approximately 45 - 50 minutes.
- About 20 minutes before the wings are done, add garlic and butter to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until garlic becomes translucent. Reduce heat to low and add ginger, chipoltle peppers, honey, soy sauce and vinegar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid becomes syrupy.
- Transfer the sauce to a glass bowl and add the cooked wings. Toss until coated and either serve immediately, or place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and place under broiler for a couple minutes, until brown and bubbly. Serve with celery and carrots and blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Sweet Spicy Chicken Wings are always a treat here at our house because there are not many “wing shops” here. Up north our boys loved to go to Buffalo Wild Wings, here in Puerto Vallarta we make them at home…In this recipe I used three pounds of wings but there are only about three of us watching the game and I am serving other foods. If wings are all you are serving consider about a pound per person on the low side. We serve blue cheese dressing with our wings because it’s slightly tart flavor works well with the Sweet Spicy Chicken Wings. We serve ranch dressing as well because not everyone likes blue cheese dressing as much as we do. A few slices of chilled mango served on the side is a nice touch and the chilled mango will also help offset the spicy taste to some extent.
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