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East meets west in these Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings. Get them crispy on the grill and toss them in a little glaze for a some sticky, finger-licking goodness. You’ll definitely want these in your appetizer rotation to impress your friends on game day!
I love a good Buffalo wing, but sometimes you just need a change of pace. Enter this Asian-inspired glaze to spice things up in a new way. A little patience on the grill gets the wings good and crispy (who wants a soggy wing?). After a quick toss in the whiskey spiked glaze, you’ve got a tasty snack that even die-hard wing traditionalists can’t resist.
Ingredients for Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings
Toasted Sesame Oil — Found often in Asian cooking, toasted sesame oil is typically used to add flavor or seasoning to a dish. It’s got an unmistakable nutty scent and flavor. You’ll likely find several brands at your grocery store to choose from. Be sure to purchase toasted oil — you’ll know it by its rich, dark color. The un-toasted variety is lighter in color, has a mild flavor and is better for sautéing or stir-frying.
Fish Sauce — Being half Vietnamese, I’m partial to Vietnamese fish sauce. Unfortunately, it’s not readily available in regular grocery stores, so you may have to make a special trip to the international market. The selection may be overwhelming, but Flying Lion, Red Boat, and Three Crabs are respectable choices. Barring the special trip, A Taste of Thai fish sauce, which I’ve found in all our local regular stores, works just fine!
Chili Pepper — So many choices are available based on your desire for fire! Jalapeño, Serrano or Bird’s Eye (Thai) chili peppers are all great options, each spicier than the previous.
Chicken Wings — For ease, purchase a precut assortment of wingettes + drumettes. I find these easier to manage on the grill, as they’ll lay flat and cook evenly. Nothing wrong with going with a full wing, though, if that’s your jam.
How to Make Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings
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Mise en Place
As always, gather and prep your ingredients.
- Measure out brown sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce, and whiskey into a small saucepan. Juice half a lime into the pan.
- Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and grate fresh ginger. Add these to the pan.
- Cut the stem off your chili. Slice it in half. With the tip of your knife, carefully cut away the membrane that connects the seeds to the chili and set that part aside. Cut the chili into long thin strips, then across into a fine dice. Add the diced chili to the pan. If you like your wings spicier, use some or all of the seeds from your chili of choice.
- Season the wings with salt + pepper.
TIP: If you’re not used to working with chilies, use gloves when handling them. The oils they release can linger on your fingertips even after washing with soap and water and cause a burning sensation. Also, don’t touch your face or your eyes!
Make the Glaze
Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the glaze for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
Grill the Wings
Preheat the grill on high, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the wings for 20-25 minutes. Using tongs, turn them over every 5 minutes or so until they are cooked through and the skin is nice and crispy. Move them around the grill in case there are hot spots to ensure you get even cooking.
Glaze the Wings
In a large bowl, add half the glaze and the wings and toss them to coat. Remove them to a platter. Garnish with lime wedges, sliced chili, or fresh cilantro leaves, if you like. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Serving Suggestions for Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings
These wings are a great party food — for game day, a summer cookout, or as a starter for a dinner party. Or, make it a meal with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried sugar snap peas or broccoli. Add a little pickled carrot + daikon radish to garnish the dish.
These Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings are so easy to make. I know you won’t be disappointed with the flavor either! Try another East meets West recipe with my Kimchi Grilled Cheese!
Spicy Whiskey Glazed Chicken Wings
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 cup whiskey
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp ginger root peeled + grated
- 1 chili pepper jalapeno, serrano or bird's eye
- 2 lbs chicken wings wingettes + drumettes
- kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper
- lime wedges, slices of chili pepper, fresh cilantro optional garnishes
- Preheat your grill on high. (Reduce to medium-low for cooking.)
- Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the burner and set aside.
- Season the chicken with salt + pepper and grill them over medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through and the skin in nice and crispy. Turn them every 5 minutes and move them around the grill to ensure even cooking.
- Toss the wings and half the sauce in a bowl until nicely coated. Remove them to a platter. Garnish with lime wedges, sliced chili or cilantro if you’d like. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.