Maple Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are great pub fare, and also make a wonderful tailgate or party snack. Although they typically come with a plethora of sauce choices, the typical flavors are mild, medium and hot, as well as honey garlic. But what about if there was another option so delicious it might change the way you ‘do’ chicken wings? Get ready for it: Maple Chicken Wings. Yes, that’s right. Maple. This sweet, sticky chicken wing recipe will have you licking your fingers and wishing you had made a larger batch!

Chicken wings are made from the wing sections of a chicken. They are typically breaded, deep-fried and covered in sauce. A variation of the chicken wing, known as the Buffalo wing, is unbreaded and then deep-fried. Like many foods, the origins of chicken wings are hotly debated, but one of the most prevalent claims is that the first chicken wing recipe was created in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. As the story goes, Teressa needed a quick and easy snack for the unannounced and late-night arrival of her son and his friends and came up with the idea of deep-frying chicken wings. Chicken wings became such a huge hit that in 1977 the city of Buffalo officially declared July 29th to be Chicken Wing Day (I wish every day was Chicken Wing Day, especially if they are coated with this delicious maple sauce recipe!).

For this chicken wing recipe, all you will need are two to three pounds of chicken wings (or more, depending on how large and hungry your crowd is), Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, chili sauce, red pepper flakes and, of course, maple syrup. Adjust your ingredients accordingly to make a larger batch of chicken wings.

Maple Syrup is a syrup typically made from the xylem sap of black maple, red maple, and sugar maple trees. Maple syrup was first collected and used by indigenous people of North America, a practice quickly adopted by European settlers who eventually refined the production methods. Quebec, Canada, is by far the largest producer of maple syrup and is responsible for approximately three-quarters of the world’s output. In Canada, to qualify as ‘maple syrup’, the sap must be at least 66 percent sugar while in the United States a syrup must be almost entirely made from maple sap to be labeled as ‘maple syrup’.

For this chicken wing recipe and maple sauce recipe, you place the chicken wings in a large plastic zip bag and forget about them while you make your sauce from the remaining ingredients. Once mixed, pour your maple sauce recipe over the chicken wings (retaining about a cup for basting) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to marinate (turning occasionally). While this chicken recipe calls for the discard of the remaining marinade, I like to keep mine and pour a little over the wings as they bake to keep them moist and extra sticky. Of course, marinating the wings, you won’t be deep-frying them, but rather slow baking them for 30 to 40 minutes until they’re a golden color, and the juices run clear, indicating that the chicken is fully cooked.

This is one delicious chicken recipe that will delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more. The flavor profile is sweet, but with a hint of heat. And they’re oh-so-sticky, just the way perfect chicken wings should be! So what are you waiting for? Mix up this maple sauce chicken wing recipe and eat away!

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