Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings. Yes, baked! Sweet and spicy in every bite, these wings are so delicious you won’t be able to resist them.
I’ve always been a dark meat girl when it comes to chicken. I’ll occasionally eat chicken breast, but I hardly ever cook it at home because it gets dry so easily. And once it’s dry, it’s almost impossible to revive. Dark meat, on the other hand, has a little more fat and therefore stays tender and juicy. Yes, more fat means ha few more calories, but to me it’s worth it.
Several years ago I found a really delicious recipe for Spicy Honey Chicken. I made it a few times, and then completely forgot about it. That happens more often than I would like, especially when I’m in the mode of making lots of new recipes. And then I make the recipe again, vow not to let it slip through the cracks, and before you know it I’ve forgotten it again. Story of my life.
I’ve done a great job of creating main dishes for the blog, and have done pretty well with side dishes. On the other hand, I can count my recipes for appetizers, cocktails, breakfast and desserts on less than one hand:
Yep, that’s it. A grand total of 2 recipes in 5 years, and I only created them in the last few months. I don’t have a good reason for it, and I really need to expand my variety of recipes.
Chicken wings is one of my favorite restaurant appetizers. I’ll eat them as a meal, especially when I find the large and meaty wings. I’ll eat them naked, with sauce, or dry dusted. When it comes to drummettes vs wing portions, there is no comparison. Reilly and I got into an argument about it recently, because he thinks the wing section has more meat. I don’t buy that…I’m sticking with drummettes.
In the past I always bought pre-seasoned and pre-flavored wings at the grocery store. For some reason, I never thought of doing my own chicken wings. Honestly, I never even knew until recently that you could buy raw wings at the grocery store. Yeah, that’s kind of embarrassing to admit. Since I hadn’t made Spicy Honey Chicken in ages, I decided to twist it up and make Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings.
Oh my goodness, these Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings are so delicious. As soon as I opened the oven, the gorgeous smells reminded me why I love these flavors so much. You get spicy and sweet in every bite, and the hardest part is letting them cool on the rack for a few minutes before diving in.
These Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings have a definite kick, but it’s not overwhelming. Besides, you can control the heat by adjusting the amount of spice, and the honey and and vinegar drizzle at the end helps to tone it down. The seasoning mix and drizzle are both super simple, and includes basics that you probably already have in your pantry:
- Raw honey: I discovered raw honey a couple of years ago at a farmer’s market, and immediately fell in love. Raw honey has a very clean taste, unlike regular honey that has an aftertaste. I never noticed it until I tried raw honey. You can find raw honey at most grocery stores, and the cost is comparable to store brands
- Apple cider vinegar: The vinegar helps to thin out the honey, and adds an extra layer of flavor
- Coarse sea salt: I grind the sea salt before adding it to the mixture. You really could use any salt, but I prefer the texture of sea salt.
Wal Mart sells big bags of large and meaty frozen raw wing drummettes. I actually thought they were much too big when I first opened the bag, but the wings reduce in size as they cook. I also found fresh wings in the meat case, but they start out smaller, and are more expensive. Normally I remove the skin from chicken legs and thighs, but it would take forever to do that with wings.
I always assumed that fried was the only option for chicken wings. However, thanks to Pinterest, I learned about baked wings. Less fat, fewer calories. I was concerned that baked wings wouldn’t have the same crispy skin, but when baked properly, the skin gets that same, beautiful crispy exterior. Sure it takes longer to cook than fried, but I’ll wait for the healthier option. The only oil is a drizzle of Avocado oil (or canola oil) on the bare wings, to help the seasoning adhere.
Once seasoned, place the wings on a baking rack on a lined baking sheet. Make sure to space out the wings, or they won’t crisp properly.
I put the Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings in the oven for about 45 minutes; drizzled the wings with the honey/vinegar glaze and cooked for another 5 minutes; then flipped the wings, drizzled them with more glaze, and cooked for a final 5 minutes.
When you add the honey/vinegar glaze to the Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings, the wings will sizzle and smoke. But that’s a good thing, because that’s all flavor. On the other hand, don’t cook them for too long, or the honey will burn. And that’s not good flavor or smell.
Blue cheese and ranch are the most popular dipping sauces for chicken wings. Rather than my standard blue cheese, I decided to make ranch dressing for my Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings. I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of ranch dressing, so I got ranch dip mix and sour cream. The ranch dip creates a thicker dipping sauce than regular ranch dressing, and I prefer the flavor.
For best results, I recommend making the wings immediately before serving. It took about 15 minutes for me to eat the Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings after they came out of the oven. I was concerned the wings would be cold, but to my surprise they held the heat really well. I did drizzle a touch more honey before I dug in, and the wings were outstanding.
Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings are great to make for a crowd, for lunch, or even just an afternoon snack. I will definitely make these more often, and I’m looking forward to trying more varieties of wings.
- 2 lbs raw chicken wings
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Combine all dry spices in a bowl, and set aside
Trim off any excess pieces of skin from wings. Pat dry
Add wings to large bowl. Drizzle with oil, and turn to coat all pieces of chicken.
Add seasoning mix to bowl. Use your hands, and massage seasoning mix into chicken pieces. Let sit for about 10 minutes
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking rack in a foil-lined baking sheet
Place wings on baking rack. Be sure to leave space between wings, so they cook properly. Place baking sheet in oven
While wings cook, mix vinegar and honey in small bowl. You may want to heat mixture in microwave for about 10 seconds, to make honey easier to stir
After 45 minutes, drizzle wings with honey and vinegar mixture. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip wings, and coat other side with honey & vinegar mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes
Remove wings from oven. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving
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