Spicy Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

The wing of the chicken happens to be my favorite part of the bird. I am crazy for chicken wings and love them prepared in a variety of ways. We made these wings last spring and I really liked them but they were not as fantastic as I had hoped for. This time around I tweaked the recipe just slightly and they were out of this world delicious. It was hard to stop eating them as my belly was screaming, enough already.

Adding some light brown sugar into the mix and using the broiler to get that extra caramelization helped further define the flavor of these spicy maple glazed chicken wings. That combination of sweet from the sugar and syrup and the cayenne brought it all together in a tasty bite.

I am so pleased with the outcome of this wing recipe and very excited to re-share it with you all! There was barely a word uttered during dinner as we were too busy savoring the taste of these gems. They will make the perfect snack if you are hosting or attending a tailgate or Super Bowl Sunday party, or any gathering for that matter. Winter, spring, summer or fall these wings top them all.
  • 1 package wings - separate the wing and drummette portions, save the wing tips for stock
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • olive oil - just enough to drizzle over the wings
  • cooking spray
  1. Line a large sheet pan (or two smaller ones) with aluminum foil. Generously spray the foil with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Wash the chicken wings under cold water. Dry with paper towels.
  3. Split the wings by removing the wing tip and freeze those in freezer bags or other containers and save for making chicken stock. Then separate the wing and drummette portions.
  4. Place all the wing sections in a large bowl and season quite liberally with salt and black pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic. Toss them to coat the wings and allow them marinate together for a while in the refrigerator while you make the basting sauce.
  5. While the wings are marinating, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small sauce pot. Stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and turn the heat down as necessary because it will bubble just like caramel does. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE OR THAT POT UNATTENDED. Reduce the sauce by half. Takes about 5 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool down and it will be syrupy and thick.
  6. Lay the wings and drummettes on the foiled lined baking sheet liberally sprayed with a cooking spray, skin side down first and drizzle with a little bit of the oil over the wings.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 15 minutes, flip over and bake for 5 more minutes. Total 20 minutes.
  8. When you take the wings out after twenty minutes you can flip them back over to skin side up and baste them, or put the wings into a large bowl, pour the sauce over and toss to coat.
  9. Place the wings back on the sheet pan and bake for another 10 minutes until the glaze has formed a nice crust on the wings.
  10. If the wings are not as caramelized as you would like, turn on your broiler and place the pan back in the oven. Keep an eye on them and in about 5-6 minutes I think you'll get good results.
You should end up with fully cooked, juicy, tender wings with that succulent flavor of a bit of sweet and feel a slight kick of heat from the cayenne pepper. Serve these up with a fresh garden salad and it becomes a complete meal.

We don't often purchase chicken wings because they can be more expensive than even the breast. Our 4 plus pound package of wings were $2.99 per pound and cost us $12.95. You get 32 portions which comes out to 40¢ each. Decide if this is an economical meal for your family. Serving 8 wings each for four people is $3.20 per person just for the chicken. Despite that I highly recommend making these when it suits your budget.

My total cost for our dinner was $15.42 and enough for five (2 adults, 3 children) for $3.08 per person.


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