Thanks to Gourmesso Coffee for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.
We had our week of healthy right? (Not like I participated.) And I’m pretty sure we are ready to head full swing into America’s great winter pastime—watching stuff on TV and eating finger food! With the Super Bowl, award season, and many other very important television events coming up (does the inauguration count?) it is time to get our chicken wings on.
I’m going to go ahead and admit now that I am not a chicken wings person, not really, not until now. I made these for Armando who is most definitely a chicken wings person. A person who regularly will order only chicken wings when we go out. A person who’s terrible wife never makes chicken wings at home, except that this time I did and they are really, really, really good! So good I had to stop myself from eating the whole lot of them after I shot the photographs so there would be some leftover when he got home and realized I’d finally, after all these years, made chicken wings.
I really don’t know what my hangup was, not only are chicken wings excellent party snacks but they also make the ultimate weeknight dinner. In the time it takes to bake the wings the sauce will be ready and then all you have to do is toss them with the sauce, bake them a few minutes more, and watch your five-year old and husband fight over who gets the last one.
The most complicated part is cutting the chicken wings into three pieces, which if you have a sharp knife and take a gander at the picture below, is not really complicated at all. Cut off the pointy tip and save for chicken stock, then cut into two pieces at the second joint.
One More Kitchen Tip
Coffee makes a lot of things taste better. I know it sounds crazy but I’m not going out on a limb to say adding coffee to anything chocolaty, smoky, spicy, or sweet will inevitably boost the flavor. Try it! I’ve been loving these Fair Trade Gourmesso coffee capsules to get my morning coffee fix and for adding a little something-something to recipes. They work in any Nespresso machine and are 30% cheaper than the Nespresso capsules—I believe that’s what you call a win-win.
Case in my coffee-point is this sauce; caramelized sweet onions, dark undertones from coffee, smoky heat from chipotle chiles, with just the right amount of sweet fruitiness from raspberry jam. They’re Piñata Wings!! Absolutely full of surprises.
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Piñata Chicken Wings
Oven-baked chicken wings tossed in a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made with caramelized onions, chipotle chiles, raspberry jam, and a jolt of coffee.
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ large red onion
- 2/3 cup brewed coffee
- 2 chipotles en adobo
- 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ground black pepper, to taste
For the Wings:
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Lemon or lime wedges
- Sliced scallions and jalapeños
- Finely chopped parsley and cilantro
For the sauce:
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat so they don’t burn.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are very tender and sauce has reduced a bit, about 15 minutes more.
- Use a stick blender, or transfer sauce to a blender and blend on high until smooth. If you are using a blender hold a dish towel you don’t mind getting stained over the top of the blender instead of the lid. The hot sauce can cause the lid to pop off sending hot liquid all over the place.
- Taste sauce and add more salt or vinegar if needed. Set aside.
For the wings:
- Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or a Silpat.
- Cut wings into 3 pieces; save the wing tips for stock. Toss wings with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake wings for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Toss wings with half the sauce and bake 10 minutes more. Toss wings with remaining sauce and serve with garnishes and lots of napkins
Depending on your love of chicken wings this recipe could make enough for 2 people or 4. Double the amount of chicken wings and bake on 2 baking sheets if you want to make a larger batch. The recipe makes enough sauce for 4 pounds of wings.