Sweet and Spicy Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
Sticky, spicy, crispy, make-you-want-to-cry-they-are-so-good chicken wings. Yum. I could get DOWN with a plate of these seven spice wings. So, I wanted a chicken wing that satisfied all of these requirements but I didn’t want the burden and calories of deep frying. You feel me? I’m also getting a little bored with your typical fare of chicken wings. And I got to thinking; why isn’t there a Middle Eastern style wing? If there is, I haven’t seen it. I scoured internet sites and searched high and low. Some of them had elements of the flavors I was trying to create but none of them had that caramel style glaze and the heat I was looking for… or the rich complexity of the spice profile I wanted to use. I also wanted that tang and sweetness.
I did it. These wings are probably one of my proudest food achievements and I’m here to brag and share! TRUST me when I say that things wings will change your mind about a spice being “too exotic” or different to work in recipes like this.
So what, really, is seven spice? Also known as ‘Baharat’, Lebanese seven spice is a combo of ground spices such as cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, anise, coriander seed, and paprika. Different regions/countries have different spice combos but we used the Lebanese blend growing up so I prefer that one almost anytime I cook with seven spice. It’s rich, aromatic and lends meat a certain factor you don’t want to miss! This spice mix in combination with pomegranate molasses takes these wings to tastebud heaven! The molasses creates the sticky sweetness and adds a BBQ vibe to the whole thing. And the added touch of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar gives them a punch of Umami.
So if you are on the same path I am, you can see where I’m going with this. We’ve got sweet, sour, salt, umami and even bitterness! The bite of the molasses adds that bitter note and it’s not a bad one! The taste becomes addicting… so addicting you won’t be able to stop licking your fingers.
Sweet and 7-Spicy Baked Chicken Wings
Prep/Cook Time: 45 Min.
1 Dozen Chicken Wings (about 1.25 lbs)
1TBS Baking Powder (Gluten Free! – Clabber Girl Brand)
1tsp and 1/4tsp Kosher Salt
1tsp Baharat/Lebanese 7spice mix
½tsp + pinch pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
Preheat oven to 425F
Using paper towels, thoroughly dry chicken wings. Season with ¼ tsp salt and a pinch of pepper. In a large mixing bowl add all the spices and combine them well. Drop the chicken wings in and mix to rub spices into chicken wings. If there is still spice mix at the bottom of the bowl, mix with your hands pressing the spice mixture into the meat to incorporate all the spices.
Roast Chicken for 35-40 min or until chicken is cooked through and outer skin is crispy and deep golden.
While Chicken is roasting make the cucumber yogurt dip and the wing sauce!
Cucumber Yogurt Dip
1 small cucumber – seeds removed, diced finely
½ small shallot – diced finely
1 small clove garlic – minced
1-2 cups yogurt
Salt & Pepper to taste
(Optional Garnish – mint and/or cilantro)
Once the cucumber is chopped, spread out on a small paper towel with a sprinkle of salt. This will remove excess moisture from the cucumber so your dip doesn’t get soggy.
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix. If you like your dip chunky use only 1 cup of yogurt. For a smoother dip, add another cup of yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish.
¼C Pomegranate Molasses
2 small cloves garlic – minced
2Tbs Low Sodium Tamari (Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
1tsp Aleppo Pepper
1 heaping TBS Honey
2-3 TBS Water
1 tsp Olive Oil
With 1tsp of Olive Oil warm a small sauce pan on Med-Low. Add dry spices and garlic. Cook until spices and garlic are aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken (about 10-15 min for this amount but longer for a bigger batch) and stir occasionally. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so thick that it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
When wings are cooked, remove from oven and coat in wing sauce mixing well to coat each wing. Arrange on platter and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Serve with cucumber yogurt dip. A great accompaniment is my 2 min Lemony Cabbage Salad! If you want these for dinner service with some basmati rice!
To make more wings just double or triple the recipe increments for the sauce and spices!