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Maple, bourbon sauce succulent wings

Maple syrup, to some, is an indispensable fall flavor.

That’s according to this week’s food section story about American-made syrup (see the e-edition).

To that, I’ll add the deep, almost savory flavor of bourbon whets my fall appetite. My partner and I just broke out the bottle for the first hot toddies of the cold season.

And when we want a dish with the smooth finish of both bourbon and maple syrup, I’ll turn to this chicken wings recipe. Its sophisticated flair would be a delicious companion to fall football watching.

Tribune News Service photo

Maple-Bourbon Chicken Wings

2/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup bourbon

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional

3 pounds chicken wings

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a small saucepan, mix together the maple syrup, bourbon, brown sugar and pepper, if using.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixture reaches thickness of a syrup. You will have about 1 cup liquid. Allow to cool and thicken.

Season the wings with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Flip and roast for 15 more minutes. Place wings in a bowl and toss with maple-bourbon mixture.

Spread coated wings back on baking sheet and cook until done (internal temperature of 165 F), for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size of wings. If wings start to get too dark, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from “Salt Sugar Smoke” by Diana Henry.