Wings are so messy. Especially these sweet and spicy wings.
I’ve always believed they’re the perfect first date food, because it forces you to let your guard down, use an entire roll of paper towels in one sitting, and tell the other person when they have wing sauce smeared across their face. I mean, really, if a relationship survives a first date of wings, I think you’re good to go.
Brandan and I did not eat wings on our first date. I was a waitress at the time, and I had to work until 10:30pm that night. I picked him up after work and we went out to the bar for a drink. Or two. Or three. We spent the whole night talking and ended up at a 24 hour diner at 3am drinking chocolate milkshakes.
BUT – wings have a special spot for us. I met him at the bar I worked at as a waitress, serving him – you guessed it – wings and beer. We had 25 cent wing night once a week, and he would come in with his friends and get as many wings as they could eat. It was impressive. One of our wedding gifts was even a platter and beer mugs to serve wings and beer at home. I have a feeling these sweet and spicy wings will be making their way onto that platter in the future. They’re so good.
I wanted to make sure these sweet and spicy wings were crispy, the sauce was flavorful, and that they were extra messy for you. They’re wings – when are they ever not messy? I also had to make sure they were Whole30 compliant, so I couldn’t use any honey or sweeteners, and I wanted them to have just the right amount of kick without being overwhelming. AND I wanted to make them ready in 30 minutes or less. Friends, I have delivered.
You’ll bake the sweet and spicy wings in the oven, and while they’re baking, you’ll make the sauce on the stove. Then once the wings are done, you’ll just toss them into the pot of sauce and toss them around to coat them. The sauce will thicken even more and get sticky, leaving you with a delicious sticky batch of sweet and spicy wings.
Just make sure you grab some paper towels first. You’re gonna need ’em!
I’m writing this right before getting on the road today. I’m driving to Atlanta with my parents to attend the funeral of a family friend who passed away. He’s been suffering from prostate cancer for a few years now, but it still sucks. He was only 45 and has two boys, one in middle school and one in high school. I’m not telling you this to depress you, just telling you as a gentle reminder that life is so very fleeting and we never know what’s around the corner. Hold onto your memories tightly and onto those you love even tighter. There’s a ton of cliché sayings out there, but the thing is, they’re all true. So I’ll leave you with this – just love. Love love love, as hard as you can, as often as you can, whenever and wherever you can. It matters. It all matters.
- 2 pounds chicken wings about 2 dozen
- 1-2 Tablespoons ghee
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Melt the ghee and toss the wings to coat.
- Lay the wings on a wire rack on a baking sheet in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for 15 minutes more.
- While the wings are baking, combine all sauce ingredients EXCEPT the arrowroot powder in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth.
- Scrape the sauce into a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the arrowroot powder. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
- Before removing the wings from the oven, turn the broiler on for 2-3 minutes and broil the wings to crisp up, watching to make sure they don't burn.
- Add the wings to the pot of sauce and use a spoon or spatula to toss and coat.
- Serve immediately.