Chinese Chili Chicken Wings

I’ve been hunting for a good crispy sticky chicken wings recipe for ages. I remember watching Ree Drummond fry her wings before rolling them in a barbecue sauce. They looked really good and crispy but I didn’t want to fry mine.

Earlier this week, I came across a couple of recipes that called for parboiling the wings for a few minutes. Now this is how I make a roast chicken sometimes. Parboil just a few minutes to kind of tighten the skin for a crispier roast chicken. So I thought, why not?

So here is the recipe, if you give it a try, let me know what you think.


About 20 wings, split into winglets and drummettes, so 40 pieces in total. In South Africa, our chickens are smaller than those in the US, and 20 wings were easily consumed by 3 of us, so adjust accordingly.

For the sauce. I don’t really measure, I taste as I go, so the measurements below are a very rough guide.

Butter – about a tablespoon

Crushed garlic – about 2 teaspoons

Crushed ginger – about 2 teaspoons

Chinese chili paste – about a tablespoon. This is a smooth, thick paste found at shops that stock Chinese foods

Soya sauce – about a quarter cup

Rice wine vinegar – about a quarter cup

Honey – about a quarter cup

Water – about a half cup

Cooking method:

Place the wings into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain. Cool then use paper towel to dry the skin as much as possible. Place in a preheated 200 Celsius degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway until golden brown.

While the chicken bakes, add the butter to a saucepan. Fry the garlic and ginger for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the remainder of the ingredients. Cook on low until thick and syrupy. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s more than enough for 20 wings.

When the wings are done, roll in the sauce to cover. Serve and enjoy. They really are finger licking delicious.

Until next time ☕️

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