Once upon a time, chicken wings were the part of the bird no one really wanted. They’re not all that meaty, after all, and have a higher proportion of bone and skin than the rest of the chicken. One long ago night in Buffalo, New York, someone invented the Buffalo wing, and, well, history was made. People realized there was a lot more you could do with wings than just drenching them in butter and hot sauce, though.
Fast-forward to the 3rd decade of the 21st century, when recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge decided to pair honey with garlic, and then use this genius combo to dress her delicious wings. "Honey and garlic is brilliant together," she says, admitting, "It does sound strange but it really works, especially with meat." She adds, "I love cooking with Asian inspiration, so these are two food items I normally put together," and she describes the taste of these wings as "sweet and savory." We’d say they’re a little bit salty, a little bit sweet, and entirely delicious.
Gather the ingredients for honey garlic chicken wings
This recipe makes a sizable amount of wings — you’ll need about 2 pounds of whole chicken wings. You’ll also need fresh garlic as well as some honey. The recipe also calls for soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar. If you want a little extra kick, you can always use the super-trendy hot honey, or else, you can just add a pinch of cayenne pepper to spice up your honey garlic wings. You won’t need any type of condiment to serve with the wings, though — no blue cheese, ranch dressing, or anything like that. As Olayinka explains, "You don’t really need a dipping sauce as they are quite saucy."
Marinate the wings before cooking
You’re going to start off with a tiny bit of prep work. Peel and mince the garlic, then cut the tips off the wings. The reason for this, as Olayinka explains, is "they burn quickly." Also, generally no one eats this part. You can save the tips to make soup. Olayinka says, "I do usually use them for chicken stock," adding, "You can freeze [the wing tips] immediately for later stock use.
Once the wings have been de-tipped, put them in a bowl, then sprinkle them with the soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil as well as 1 teaspoon of salt. Put the bowl in the fridge for 45 minutes to allow the wings to marinate.
Bake the wings until they’re crispy
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Olayinka says to do this "near the end of marinating," but don’t worry if you forget to do so before the 45 minutes is up. It won’t hurt the wings to marinate a few minutes longer. Heck — you can even marinate them overnight if you wish. Anyway, once the oven is hot and the wings are sufficiently marinated, transfer the latter from the bowl to a greased or foil-lined baking tray.
Bake the wings for 35 minutes. Approximately halfway through the cooking time, flip them over so they can get crispy on both sides.
Prepare the honey sauce as the wings cook
Now it’s time to make the honey garlic sauce. As Olayinka says, you can do this "while the chicken is cooking." Mix the remaining sesame oil with the garlic, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan, then turn the burner to medium-low, and cook the sauce for three minutes.
Once the wings are done baking, coat them with the sauce. Don’t take them out of the pan quite yet, though! You’re going to "set" the sauce on the wings by broiling them for three minutes. After that, your honey garlic wings are done.
While Olayinka advises serving the wings right away, she also says, "These are great as leftovers," but adds a cooking tip for reheating them: "I put them in the oven again for a short time because in the microwave makes them a bit soggy." She says, "We have them as both as a side with a main dish like rice … or as an appetizer," and suggests they go great with fried rice or potatoes. It’s a great game day recipe, and it’s sure to be a favorite with your family and friends this football season and beyond.
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds whole chicken wings
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Mince the garlic, and set it aside.
- Cut the tips off the chicken wings.
- Place the chicken wings into a mixing bowl, and sprinkle with soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and the salt.
- Refrigerate the wings for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Transfer the wings to a greased or foil-lined baking tray.
- Bake the wings for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
- Combine the remaining sesame oil with the garlic, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan, and cook the sauce for 3 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Coat the cooked wings in the honey-garlic sauce.
- Finish the wings by broiling them for 3 minutes.