Chicken wings are the perfect party food. Okay, that may be a touch too enthusiastic; it’s hard to imagine anyone nibbling daintily on one at a funeral. But chicken wings are the perfect party food for a particular type of party. I’m not going to say they’re perfect for a Super Bowl party or something equally jocky because, aside from being painfully obvious, it’s far too limiting. I think wings are capable of so much more than that. Having said that, I did make today’s Chipotle Hot Wings as a companion to a Toronto Raptor’s playoff game. But I have on numerous occasions made wings for non-sporting events and served them to sports-adverse humans with great success. Everyone loves wings, so why relegate them exclusively to man caves and sports bars. Free the wing!Jump to Recipe
So when does one wing it (love me, love my puns)? Well, I like to think about chicken wings in the same way I think about lobster. Now, before we get too deep into this, please remember I grew up on the East Coast and I have never ordered a lobster in a restaurant. Lobster is not fancy to me, it is messy and delicious. Got it? Okay, I think of chicken wings as I would of lobster. Chicken wings are for newspaper tablecloth company, not fine china company. What do I mean by that? Well, essentially if you’re going to eat wings in public, make sure that public knows you well and will love you through thick and thin. Regardless of where the hot sauce may land on your person.
I think what I love most about chicken wings is they can make fools of us all. When you have a good plate of wings in front of you, you can’t help but eat the hell out of them. There is something so passionately human about eating messy food with unbridled joy. And having a pack of people that you can go into an animalistic eating mode with is the very definition of closeness. True love, baby! And that is the extremely corny reason I love chicken wings and these Chipotle Hot Wings in particular. This is why chicken wings are so much more than a sports food.
Now, with the romantic preamble out of the way, let’s talk Chipotle Hot Wings. You can probably tell from the photos, these wings are coated in a dry rub. Generally, when I make wings at home, I tend to make them saucy but I was feeling like something different than my hot sauce drenched usual. So, I made a simple rub, that would probably be dynamite on any bbq-able meat or mushroom as well, and smack the sucker on the wings and baked them up in the oven. Yes, that’s right, I did not fry these.
If you’ve ever read this blog, you know I’m not averse to deep frying. Remember these spring rolls? But with wings, I think it is unnecessary. I mean, sure it does cut down on your cooking time but you would more than make up for the time saved with cleaning. And wings are already so moist, fatty and flavorful that deep frying really isn’t necessary. Now, I’m sure you’re concerned about the crispiness factor and this recipe does address this with baking powder. Yeah, baking powder. Toss your wings in baking powder and then toss them in the oven and the skin will crisp up like you wouldn’t believe. Is it as crispy as deep fried wings? No, I’m not a miracle worker. But I really didn’t miss the deep fried flavor and I’m me. I run so I can eat deep fried things! I live for deep fried things!
One more thing about wings, I suggest getting whole wings, tips and all. The reason I suggest this is they are often cheaper, they are extremely easy to break down, and you can save the tips for making stock. Honestly, it’s great practice separating a flat from a drumette and these skills will come in handy the next time you have to carve any kind of poultry in front of your in-laws…but I digress.
Finally, we have the Cucumber-Avocado Dip. This is such a simple dip to make and it can play double duty as a salad dressing in a pinch. All you have to do is create a puree of cucumber, avocado, garlic, and shallot, add a dash of salt and cumin, and the stir the mess into a big bowl of yogurt. And just like that your Chipotle Hot Wings have a dip to call their own. I’m dead serious, that is absolutely it.
So, that is everything you need to know about these Chipotle Hot Wings with Cucumber-Avocado Sauce. Whether you’re catching the big game or hunkering down with your besties, these bad boys are the perfect snack for you.
Chipotle Hot Wings with Cucumber-Avocado Sauce
Chipotle Hot Wings
- 454g (1lb) chicken wings tips removed
- 1 tbsp baking powder aluminum-free
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 avocado coarsely chopped
- 2 mini cucumbers coarsely chopped
- 1 small shallot halved
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
For the Hot Wings
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Remove the tips from your wings and divide them into flats and drumettes and transfer them to a large bowl. Reserve the tips for stock. Add the baking powder to the wings and toss until evenly coated. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the chili powder, sugar, salt, cumin, oregano, onion powder, cayenne and ground coriander. Pour the mixture over the wings and toss until evenly coated.
- Place the dressed wings on a drying rack placed on top of a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Put the wings, rack and all, in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 425°F and bake for 30 minutes more.
- Remove the wings from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a platter. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Place the avocado, cucumbers, shallot, garlic, salt, cumin and lime juice in a large food processor and blitz until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the yogurt in a large bowl and pour the avocado puree on top. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt accordingly. Chill until ready to serve.