In this recipe, chicken wings are baked until golden brown and crispy and then they’re tossed in a hot and spicy homemade sauce which is prepared in just a few minutes. Sweet Red Devil Wings are perfectly cooked and drenched in a thick, sticky sauce that I just can’t get enough of!
I used to think that in order to get a perfectly browned and crispy chicken wing, I would have to fry it, but I later found out I was wrong. As in the case of these Sweet Red Devil Wings, frying is not a must at all. In fact, these wings are first coated with cornstarch and then baked on a wire cooling rack. Once they’re baked, they are transferred to a large skillet with the sauce and finished over high heat until the sauce has generously coated each and every wing.
The term Red Devil might conjure up images of your tongue being on fire, but it really isn’t that bad. Sure, if you decided to spoon some of the sauce right into your mouth, you might feel a little pain, but who is going to eat this sauce with a spoon!? The sauce is meant to coat and glaze wings, but you could also make the sauce and use it for dipping, drizzling, seasoning, and flavouring, etc.
This sauce has everything I need to make me happy when it comes to hot and spicy food. It is spicy and sweet, it has heat and umami, and the garlic and ginger add freshness. And, don’t get me started on gochujang! That stuff is wonderful! You see, Dear Reader, I absolutely love dried chili flakes. I’ve watched television chefs adding dried chili flakes to their dishes, and I always think the same thing – why bother!? If I’m only going to add a pinch, there’s no point. Add a lot – go for it!!!
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BAKING WINGS ON RACKS
Science comes into play when baking wings at high temperatures on a wire cooling rack. The wire rack keeps the wings elevated so that heat can get all the way around each and every wing. That, coupled with the high temperature, helps to render out the fat in the skin. This also helps to make the wings crispy without the need for frying.
When these chicken wings come out of the oven, you have two options. You can eat them just as they are, or you can pair them with a dip. I personally love a Buttermilk Dill Ranch Dressing with baked chicken wings. That is if they’re not coated in the sauce! Blue cheese dressing is also really good with these. It adds a blast of flavour to the already delicious wings.
On this particular day, I wasn’t feeling like adding a dipping sauce. I wanted a full-on drenching of sauce! Because, truth be told, Dear Reader, that’s the best way to enjoy chicken wings. They are meant to get your hands dirty and sticky. If you’re eating them the right way, you’ll have sauce on your mouth and sometimes, in your beard – that’s if you have a beard! So, that’s just what these Sweet Red Devil Wings are – saucy!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
For the Chicken Wings:
- Chicken Wings – This recipe is for 2 pounds of chicken wings. That should yield about 10-12 wings per pound. If you have whole wings, cut them so that the drumette and wingette are separate. I discarded the wing tip.
- Ground Black Pepper & Salt
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is the key to a light and crispy coating on the wings.
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
To Make the Sauce:
- Vegetable Oil – This is only a suggestion. I use it because it has very little flavour and will not interfere much. Use any oil you like.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic will result in the best flavour every single time.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger is the way to go. It adds a warming, spicy flavour to recipes.
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – These can be found in almost every spice rack! I love the Kirkland brand at Costco and always have a jar in my pantry.
- Gochujang – You can find it in many big chain grocery stores and most certainly in Asian markets. It’s also available on Amazon.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce – I tried using regular, but it was too salty for my tastes. If you only have regular, do not add the full tablespoon. Cut it with half soy sauce and half water.
- Honey – Honey sweetens the sauce, but also helps to keep it smooth and sticky.
Lord Byron’s Notes
I made mention that you should use a low sodium soy sauce, otherwise the sauce may be too salty. If you only have regular soy sauce on hand, you can use half the amount of regular soy sauce and half water. This will dilute the salt. Yes, it will dilute the soy sauce flavour a bit too, but the dish will still be delicious!
- Parsley and Green Onions – For freshness and garnish.
- Sesame Seeds
WHAT IS GOCHUJANG?
Gochujang is one of my new favourite ingredients. Don’t worry; it’s not too spicy at all and you can totally control how much you’re adding to your recipes. So, what is gochujang? It’s basically a savoury, sweet, and spicy sauce made from red chilies, soybeans, barley, etc. It’s spicy and sweet all at the same time. Oh, and a little goes a long way!
Gochujang is also very easy to find. It’s at every Asian supermarket and even some of the larger national grocers. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it by mixing together 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of dried red chili flakes and whisk together. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to marry together.
Gochujang cannot be completely replicated in substitute form, but that little recipe will give you a decent substitute without the depth and complexity of the original gochujang flavour. Trust me, Dear Reader, it will still be delicious!
HOW TO MAKE HONEYED TERIYAKI CHICKEN WINGS
Baking the Wings
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack on it. Set that aside. Place the wings into a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Toss the wings well until coated.
Next, coat the cooling rack with cooking spray and transfer the wings to it. It’s imperative to lay the wings out so that they are not overlapping or even touching for that matter. The space between the wings will encourage faster cooking and more browning.
Bake the wings for 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven and use tongs to turn each wing over. Place them back into the oven to bake for 10 more minutes. Once done, remove from oven and set aside.
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Making the Sauce
While the wings are baking, measure out the vegetable oil, minced garlic, and grated fresh ginger. Get those into a large skillet. Now turn the heat on to medium. Stir and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic or ginger! We are not browning; we are releasing the natural oils and flavour so that the sauce tastes even better. Once the oil starts to sizzle, only cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Next, add the remaining ingredients and whisk until everything is mixed well. Everything goes into that skillet and I whisk everything together until I’m left with a thick, sticky sauce. Add the wings and toss well to coat. Continue to toss over high heat until the sauce thickens even more and the wings are sticky. Plate, garnish with parsley, green onions, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with celery and carrot sticks with your favourite veggie dip. Serve the leftover sauce from the skillet on the side for those who like extra sauce.
WANT EXTRA SAUCE FOR LATER? MAKE IT AND FREEZE IT!
A sauce that freezes well is always preferred. And, I freeze just about every sauce I make. The only sauce or dip that I refrain from freezing are hummus dips or avocado/guacamole-based dips. They just do not hold up well after being thawed.
The sauce used in this Sweet Red Devil Wings recipe can be frozen and thawed quite easily. When all is said and done, you’ll get about a cup of sauce from this recipe, which is a lot of sauce! Now, I firmly believe that a saucy wing recipe needs to have an abundance of sauce, but not everyone feels the same way. You can make the batch as written in the recipe and save some for the freezer. You can even double the sauce recipe and remove half from the skillet before adding the wings. Let it cool and then freeze it for later.
You can even portion the leftover sauce out into ice-cube trays and freeze them that way. When completely frozen, pop them out and save them in a freezer-friendly resealable bag. Take out one or two when you need them and keep the rest frozen for up to three months.
OTTAWA VALLEY MEATS
The Sweet Red Devil Wings you see in the photographs are from Ottawa Valley Meats. I used two packages, which is two pounds. Sourced from local generational family farms that organically feed and raise White Rock chickens in a free-range environment, all their chicken products are air-chilled. This process significantly limits water content and ensures a superior taste and texture.
You can find a complete list at Ottawa Valley Meats. If you are in Ontario, be sure to take a look at the website. Ottawa Valley Meats offers seafood, beef, poultry, pork, etc. And, they deliver right to your door! The product comes in a freezer-refrigerated truck, which means the box doesn’t need to be stuffed with ice packs or dry ice. And, the food doesn’t need to be packaged into those silver cooler bags. Do you know what that means for me? Less waste! Give them a try – you won’t be disappointed!
If you’re much like me, you can be easily satisfied with just a plate of chicken wings and a few napkins. That’s how I enjoyed these, but if I were serving it as a meal, I would want to serve it with a few sides. Keep in mind that in the case of these wings, they’re sweet and spicy. So, serve it with something light, refreshing, crisp, and plain.
Plain!? I can’t think of another word! What I mean is something with a subtle flavour – like steamed rice! That’s a great option with wings. I would also consider serving it with a coleslaw. Anything spicy always pairs well with the cooling taste of a really good coleslaw!
Everyone seems to like carrot and celery sticks with wings. Veggies will certainly help to cool the tongue if these Sweet Red Devil Wings are too hot for you. At the end of the day, you can serve it with whatever you want. I completely support serving whatever works for you – what about just a plate of well-seasoned fries? Yes!
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Sweet Red Devil Wings
For the Chicken Wings:
- 2 pounds chicken wings, mix of drumettes and wingettes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup cornstarch
- nonstick cooking spray
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 4 tablespoons dried red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Garnish:
- fresh parsley and green onions chopped
- sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack on it. Set that aside. Place the wings into a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Toss the wings well until coated.
- Next, coat the cooling rack with cooking spray and transfer the wings to it. It’s imperative to lay the wings out so that they are not overlapping or even touching for that matter. The space between the wings will encourage faster cooking and more browning.
- Bake the wings for 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven and use tongs to turn each wing over. Place them back into the oven to bake for 10 more minutes. Once done, remove from oven and set aside.
- While the wings are baking, measure out the vegetable oil, minced garlic, and grated fresh ginger. Get those into a large skillet. Now turn the heat on to medium. Stir and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic or ginger! We are not browning; we are releasing the natural oils and flavour so that the sauce tastes even better. Once the oil starts to sizzle, only cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Next, add the remaining ingredients and whisk until everything is mixed well. Everything goes into that skillet and I whisk everything together until I’m left with a thick, sticky sauce.
- Add the wings and toss well to coat. Continue to toss over high heat until the sauce thickens even more and the wings are sticky.
- Plate, garnish with parsley, green onions, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with celery and carrot sticks with your favourite veggie dip.
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