A can of Coke helps to sweeten and thicken this gorgeous and delicious sauce. Coca Cola Chicken Wings are the ultimate sticky, finger-licking, game-time appetizer!
I still can’t believe I convinced myself to try this recipe. I have seen the Coca Cola Chicken Wings recipe floating around for quite some time, but I’ve never had the nerve to try it. In fact, Dear Reader, I thought it was a little bit weird!
Finally, one day, having an abundance of chicken wings on hand, I thought I’d give it a go. Now, I’m not a Coke drinker. I dislike it with all of my being. It’s too sweet and it burns the back of my throat – much like water! (But, that’s a story for another time!)
DIET COKE WILL NOT WORK!
I always have Diet Coke on hand, however. So, since Diet Coke is my drug of choice, I thought I would make the sauce with my own personal stash of DC. (I say it’s my own personal stash, because John.e and McKenna refuse to drink it. They drink regular Coke.)
It seemed like I was cooking/simmering the sauce forever! The sauce just would not thicken the way I needed it to in order to properly coat the chicken wings. I was sure that the addition of the brown sugar to the Diet Coke would certainly increase the sugar level enough to thicken the sauce, but it wouldn’t.
I’m not sure if the aspartame in the Diet Coke was throwing off the magic that happens when brown sugar is simmered in a liquid. I’ll leave that up to the scientists to figure out. I didn’t have the time, nor did I have the desire. I decided to remake the sauce.
THE RIGHT BALANCE OF SALTY AND SWEET
I broke into John.e and McKenna’s regular Coke stash and the sauce came together perfectly! I was sure that the sauce was going to be overly sweet with the sugar in the Coke and the added brown sugar, but I was wrong. The salt, and the acid in the tomato paste offsets the sweetness beautifully.
When all was said and done, I was left with a slightly sweet, slightly smoky, slightly spicy sauce. It was thick and sticky and absolutely delicious! It was so delicious, in fact, that I ate all of the chicken wings without a single thought of sharing.
Recipes like this Coca Cola Chicken Wings recipe are the types of recipes that I love. They are so easy and the results are so fantastic. Most of us, at least those of us who love to cook, will have most of the ingredients on hand already. So, basically, it’s just a matter of picking up some chicken wings and some green onions. What could be easier?
SERVING WINGS AS A MAIN
Chicken wings are a perfect appetizer and are easily shared with large groups of people. If you’re much like me though, you can use chicken wings as a main too. Just serve them with a salad and you’ll have a great meal with very little effort! Pair these wings with my Easy Healthy Winter Coleslaw and/or my Vegetable Potato Salad for a complete and filling meal!
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Coca Cola Chicken Wings
- 16 chicken wings
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Coca Cola (do not use diet cola!)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 whole green onion, finely sliced, for garnish – optional
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Wash wings in cold water and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
- Lay wings onto parchment paper, leaving at least an inch of space between each. Sprinkle over half the salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Flip wings over. Sprinkle over remaining salt, and bake for 20 more minutes.
- In the meantime, add the following ingredients to a skillet – Coca Cola, brown sugar, tomato paste, garlic, dried red chili flakes, and paprika.
- Over medium-high heat, whisk the ingredients together and allow them to come to a low boil until sauce has thickened.
- By this time, the wings will be ready. Remove from oven and add to the skillet with the sauce.
- Toss together, cooking over medium-high heat until the wings have absorbed all of the sauce and the wings start to char.
- Remove wings from skillet and onto a serving plate. Garnish with green onions.
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