Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings will make you the hit of the party! Just make sure you have lots of napkins, because you will need them.
This is a sponsored post, and was originally featured in the September, 2017 issue of Stillwater Living Magazine.
My job at OSU is very seasonal. Most of the year, my days are pretty standard Monday-Friday, 8-5. Then August hits, and everything changes. 12-14 hour days, constantly on the run, and lots of time up in the stadium…it’s all the norm. No complaints though, because that just means it’s almost football season. College football is my favorite sport, so even though I don’t get to watch the game as a fan, I’m still a part of the energy and experience of gameday. And gameday makes the long hours of prep worth it. Many people assume my next career step is a professional sports team. But there’s nothing quite like home football game weekends, especially in small college towns like Stillwater. Sure, fans tailgate for pro football games, and the teams have very loyal fan bases. But it’s just not the same.
The one major drawback to my job is that I don’t get to enjoy the gameday experience; I’m at work before dawn, on my feet most of the day, and I’m “on” from the time the gates open until the stadium is empty. When we have a night game, I do get to spend a little time at my friends’ tailgate, but when I’m heading back inside to get to work, more friends are beginning to arrive. So I have to leave right when the real fun is about to start.
The best part about tailgating, other than catching up with friends, is the food. I have to say, one of the main reasons I go to my friend’s tailgate when we have a night game is for the food…I get out there in time to help them finish setting up, and then I make sure to taste test a little of everything.
Chicken wings is one of my favorite types of finger food. They work great for tailgates, parties, or just a meal at home. When I’m at restaurants, it is often a go-to appetizer. If they’re the large and meaty wings, I’ll eat them as my entree. I like chicken wings naked, with sauce, or dry dusted. I’m also a 100% drummette girl. Most restaurants do a combination of wing portions and drummettes, and I always go straight for the drummettes. To me they have more meat, and a much more significant bite.
About 2 months ago I made my first chicken wings recipe. Quite honestly, I even never knew until recently that you could buy raw wings at the grocery store. I always bought the pre-seasoned and pre-flavored wings in the frozen food section; raw wings are available in both the frozen and fresh meat sections. I also learned that you don’t have to fry chicken wings; you can bake or even grill them, and still get the same wonderful and delicious flavor.
I love the bold flavors and colors in Asian cuisine, and decided to make Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings
These Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings are fabulous. The sauce has a definite kick from the chili, but the sweet side of the sauce helps to tone it down. The garlic doesn’t overpower the sauce at all, and the lime adds a very nice tart bite.
Let’s talk about the sauce for the Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings. You can find sweet chili sauce in every Asian grocery store, and also in many major grocery stores. I have a large bottle in my fridge all the time. However, I also found quite a few recipes online so I decided to try and make it myself. Besides, if it failed I had a backup.
BASIC SWEET CHILI SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- Garlic, Sugar, Water, Salt
- Chili: there are several options to choose from, including fresh chili peppers, crushed red pepper, chili garlic sauce or chili garlic paste. I prefer either chili garlic sauce or chili garlic paste because of the consistency
- Vinegar: apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or rice vinegar. To keep with the Asian concept, I used rice vinegar
- Cornstarch: the cornstarch is crucial to thickening the sauce
I saw a couple of recipes that use honey, but I think that would make the sauce too sweet. Every recipe called for raw garlic. I considered roasted garlic, but I think that would significantly change the flavor of the sauce.
I followed the recipe directions, but the sauce refused to thicken. So I added some of the bottled sauce; it helped, but not enough. By then the wings were done and I was annoyed, so I did a 50-50 mixture of homemade and bottle. As I ate the wings I realized my problem…I forgot to add the cornstarch. Complete rookie error. I did taste the sauce while it cooked, before I added the bottled sauce, and it was perfect–except for the consistency. The chili garlic paste is more intense than the sauce, so it does add more of a kick. But that’s not a bad thing.
Making baked chicken wings is so simple, and you get the same crispy exterior as fried, but with less fat and fewer calories. I season the wings very simply with salt, pepper, and flour. Once seasoned, place the wings on a baking rack on a lined baking sheet. Space out the wings, or they won’t crisp properly.
You can use either thawed or frozen wings, and adjust the cooking times accordingly. Thawed wings will cook in about 35 minutes; frozen wings take about an hour. About 10 minutes before the wings are done, I drizzle them with a little of the sweet chili garlic sauce. The sauce will sizzle, but that’s a good thing. Once complete, toss the wings in the sweet chili garlic sauce, squeeze a little lime juice on top, and finish with lime zest.
For best results, I recommend making Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings immediately before serving. If you need to make them ahead of time, it’s best to warm the wings back up before serving. I usually dip my wings in ranch or blue cheese, but I dip these Sweet Chili Garlic Lime Chicken Wings in the extra sweet chili garlic sauce. And let me tell you, more is definitely better.
Sweet Chili Garlic Lime 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.
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- 2 lbs raw chicken wings (frozen or thawed)
- salt & fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 lime (zest & juice)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or paste
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Trim off any excess pieces of skin from wings
If using FROZEN wings, rinse under warm water briefly to remove ice sheen. If using THAWED wings, rinse under warm water, pat wings dry, and drizzle with oil.
Drizzle wings with a squeeze of fresh lime juice
Combine flour, salt & pepper in large bowl. Add chicken pieces, and toss to coat
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 crisp properly. Place baking sheet in oven
While wings cook, prepare Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce: add all ingredients to small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for about 6-7 minutes until sauce thickens
FROZEN WINGS: After 50 minutes, drizzle wings with sauce
THAWED WINGS: After 25 minutes, drizzle wings with sauce
Return wings to oven for another 10 minutes
Remove wings from oven, toss wings with warm sauce. Let sit for about 5 minutes
For more delicious recipes, click on the photos below!