Grilled Chicken Wings with Honey Bourbon Glaze

Chicken wings want to be glazed in a sweet, sticky, umami sauce, but wings can very often disappoint if they’re undercooked with flabby, un-rendered, skin, and tossed in an underwhelming sauce.

  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
    • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • FOR THE DRY RUB
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

GET CHEFFY TIP!This dry rub spice mixture can be modified however you like; we use paprika, salt, and garlic powder, but you may like mustard powder, coriander, or cumin. Go through that spice cabinet, and give each bottle a smell….if you like what you find, toss it into the mix!

  • FOR THE HONEY BOURBON GLAZE
    • 1/2 stick butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or other hot sauce
    • 3 tablespoons bourbon

GET CHEFFY TIP!The honey bourbon glaze can be made sweeter by increasing the honey and brown sugar, but can also be modified with maple syrup, agave nectar, or any other sweeteners you like, or have on hand. Bump up the bourbon at the end from if you want it a little boozier.

  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
    1. Begin by preparing your chicken wings. Divide your wings into the drumstick/drumette, and wing portion. Chop off the wing tip, and add to your chicken stock freezer bag.
    2. Place chopped chicken wings onto a sheet pan and stir the dry rub mixture together with a fork, until combined. Sprinkle half of the dry rub over the wings. Flip the wings, and coat the other side with the remaining dry rub until each piece of chicken is lightly coated on all sides. Place the sheet pan in the fridge while you light your grill.

  • FOR A CHARGOAL GRILL:
    1. Light a full charcoal chimney’s worth of coals and wait until the top layer of coals begin to have gray/ash marks around their edges (15-20 minutes). Dump your coals onto one-side of your grill, leaving the other side empty, with no coals. This will create a “hot-zone” and a “cool zone” inside of your charcoal grill. Clean and oil your grill grate to prepare it for the chicken wings.
    2. Once your grill is prepared, begin placing your wings, fat-side down, on the “cool-side” of your grill; no coals should be directly under your chicken wings. All coals should be banked up onto the far side of your grill, away from the chicken.
    3. Once your wings are placed, fat-side down, onto the grill, begin to place the drumette portions of the wings. Place the drumettes with the larger end facing the coals. Like the smaller, wing portion, there should be no coals directly under your wings.
    4. Once all wings are placed, cover your grill with the lid, and fully open your top vent. Ensure that the top vent is placed directly over your chicken*. Set your timer for 30 minutes.
A “hot-zone/cool-zone” grill

*You’ll see this “hot-zone/cool-zone” grilling method a lot of Get Cheffy as it allows for a very controlled, and controllable, fire.

Coals are banked fully onto one side of the grill, while our food is placed on the other side, away from the coals. The lid is placed on with the air vent directly over your food. This method gently draws heat and smoke over your food creating an “an “oven-like” environment perfect to render down fat, and for collagen to break down into gelatin, resulting in crispy skins, but tender meat.

  • FOR A GAS GRILL:
    1. Light all of your burners to heat, and burn off any residue from your grilling grates (5-10 minutes). Once cleaned, and heated, turn off one side of your grill to create the same “hot-zone” and “cool-zone” described in the charcoal grill instructions above
    2. From here, follow the FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL instructions above, picking up at Step 2.
  • THE HONEY BOURBON GLAZE:
    1. While your chicken is cooking on the grill, place your 1/2 stick of butter into a medium saucepan and place over medium/high heat. Cook your butter, watching it carefully, and lowering your heat if it browns too fast.
    2. You’re creating a browned-butter (Beurre Noisette/bər nwäˈzet…if you’re feeling fancy). You can’t walk away from it, however, as it will burn vey quickly. Once your butter is melted, we recommend lowering your heat while it browns. Don’t be afraid to remove your pan from the heat completely as it browns. Swirl your butter until a light brown color is achieved, and the aroma of the butter changes.
    3. Add your minced garlic, Sriracha, and black pepper; your browned butter will sizzle and jump when you add these cold ingredients. Keep swirling until the sizzling subsides, and your minced garlic is cooked (roughly 30 seconds to one minute).
    4. Add your soy, honey, brown sugar, and salt, and continue swirling until combined. One to two minutes.
    5. Lower your heat until your sauce is barely bubbling from the center. Add your apple cider vinegar, and two of your three tablespoons of bourbon (whiskey, rye, etc. can all be substituted here), and continue to swirl your saucepan. Return to a very low heat, and allow to gently cook together for another 10-20 minutes.
    6. Just before serving, off heat, add the final tablespoon of bourbon into the saucepan, and swirl until combined. Pour your glaze into a large bowl and add your chicken, directly from the grill onto the warmed glaze at the bottom of your mixing bowl.
    7. Using tongs, or swirling the chicken in the bowl, coat with the wings with the glaze for 1-2 minutes to ensure the warm sauce is coating the warm wings on all sides.

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