This year, I am greeting Labor Day with joy for the weekend kicks off a change in the seasons. Football games. Cooler weather. Autumn is coming and I want to be done with the summer of 2012 and the intense heat and drought. I am among those that grill all year long—but this weekend I was longing for a change there too, and wanted to grill something different. It had to be easy and fun. For me, it was Chipotle Orange Chicken Wings.
Sticky, messy, finger licking good—everything a wing should be. It is just a natural to serve when gathering to watch the game on television or any evening when friends gather to linger outside and enjoy the cooler evenings.
Roxanne and I love to cook together—and always are sharing new recipes with each other. Yet, we giggle about our different taste preferences. I love sweeter, fruit based sauces on chicken or meat. This fits that description—and yet, I bet Roxanne will like it because it has a captivating spicy kick from the chipotle peppers. Sweet and spicy makes a winning combination.
Chiptole Orange Chicken Wings
3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken wings
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced (see tip, below)
1 teaspoon salt
Glaze and Dipping Sauce:
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Clip wings at tips and discard tips. Cut wings at joints (or substitute drumettes). Place chicken wings in a resealable plastic bag.
Combine all marinade ingredients. Pour over wings. Seal bag and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Drain and discard marinade.
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine all glaze and dipping sauce ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour about half of sauce into a serving cup and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium high or allow coals to burn down to a white ash. Grill wings, over indirect heat, about 15 minutes, or until fully cooked, meat is no longer pink inside and meat thermometer inserted into a meaty portion registers 165°F, turning to brown evenly. Brush with remaining glaze during the last 5 minutes of grilling.
Makes 3 1/2 to 4 pounds wings
Oven Alternative: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Arrange wings in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes or until fully cooked, meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer inserted into a meaty portion registers 165°F . Brush with remaining glaze and broil wings 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp and brown.
Tip: Chipotle peppers are spicy. If you prefer a milder flavor, use 1 chipotle pepper in the marinade. Look for chipotle peppers canned in adobe sauce in the Mexican foods section of most grocery stores. Use what you need for this recipe, then freeze the rest to use another time. To easily freeze them, spread peppers in a single layer on a small tray and dab some of the adobe sauce on each. Freeze for a few minutes or until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag, seal tightly, label and freeze. This way, you can freeze the peppers, and easily remove just one or two to use as you need it.