Serious Eats: Recipes

Grilled Habanero Barbecue Wings

My grilling nerdery comes out whenever I order "barbecue wings" and get fried chicken tossed in barbecue sauce. I'm not saying that can't be good, but if I'm ordering barbecue wings, I want all the greatness of smoky chicken with layers of sauce baked into the wing.

Now I may get some flack here. Admittedly, when I make barbecue wings, I don't go low-and-slow. The merits of slow cooking—turning an otherwise tough piece of meat into something irresistible—are lost with wings, which benefit more from a crisp crust and just a little smoke, best achieved with a high temperature indirect cook.

Rubbed wings stay juicy and get a nicely browned skin after about 30 minutes of cooking, at which point barbecue sauce is applied and let to caramelize. Another coating of sauce and some time directly over the coals creates the the layers of sauce that I love. It's a little sticky, a little charred, and just overall delicious.

This particular batch were coated with a roasted habanero sauce, because a touch of heat on a smoky wing just makes it all the better, right?

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