On A Wing And A Prayer

Back in 19…well, 19 something and lets just leave it at that shall we, I worked at T.J. Applebees which was the name the restaurant now known as Applebees went by back in the day. One of the Friday night specials they had was ten cent wings. Yes, ten cents. Now of course you feel blessed if you can find somewhere that does wings for 50 cents. But that’s neither here nor there. You don’t want me to get started on a rant over the state of the economy and how difficult it is for a person to get an inexpensive wings fix now do you?

I want to know who decided wings were trendy. I mean really? Wings? They have about 2 ounces of meat and that’s if you find a nice meaty one from a chicken who had weight issues and needed lap band surgery. Couldn’t the “theys” that decide these things have made drumsticks a fad instead? I don’t like drumsticks. I could have had a whole flock of wings all to myself.

The problem with wings (other than the now exorbitant price) is that up until fairly recently they came in three flavors:  mild, medium and “omg, I no longer have lips”. While I love me a good hot wing and have been known to court tongue blisters many times, I tend to crave variety. Mind you, even my variety tends to have some heat to it but it’s not of the Franks Red Hot Sauce kind (I do love that stuff though). So when I made wings for dinner last night, I wanted to try something different. I love Orange chicken but it is usually cloyingly sweet and has no bite to it at all. I also love Chipotle peppers but they have been done to death. So I played around and made my own fusion of the two flavors. I of course also had to use the glaze on boneless skinless chicken breasts because my husband won’t eat wings. Did I mention that I love him in spite of his obvious flaws? But… it worked well on the breast too though it was difficult getting them glazed well without a skin for it to stick to. If I do that again, I will marinade the breasts for some time before cooking them.

But if you like wings (or chicken breasts or any part of the feathered creature actually, especially the lips) or you like a bit of citrusy (yes, that is now a word) heat you may like these. They are sticky, sweet, spicy and with the tang of citrus.


  1. 4 lbs chicken wings (whole, pieces; doesn’t matter. Use what you like)
  2. 1 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
  3. 1 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used 5 peppers and some sauce)
  4. 1 cup honey
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. zest from one orange
  10. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • First, if you’ve decided to do this with boneless skinless breasts, I suggest putting the chicken and the marinade/glaze in a large plastic bag and letting it marinade for up to 24 hours. Otherwise, just continue as instructed.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put your wings in a single layer (or as close to it as you can get) in a large baking pan and put into the oven while you make the glaze.  This is to help render some of the excess fat off for obvious reasons and so it doesn’t thin out the glaze too much.
  • Take the rest of your ingredients and dump them into the blender or the bowl of a food processor.   Like I wrote in the ingredients, I used five peppers and some sauce in mine. If you are heat averse (you poor soul) use less. If you really like your heat, use more. I would have rated this about a 4. Next time, I will use more peppers.
  • Process this up until it is a nice puree. You may still have some small bits of peppers. That’s no problem.
  • After your wings have been in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the oven up to 400 and take the wings out. Drain off all the fat and pour your glaze over them. Turn them to coat both sides. Cook for about another 30 to 45 minutes until they are nicely glazed (you may want to turn them once more during cooking) and cooked through. Before you take them out, you can turn the oven to broil and put the wings under there to crisp up the skin a little.
  • If you have any extra sauce in the pan, it’s great over rice. Now go… shoo… cook some wings.
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35 thoughts on “On A Wing And A Prayer

  1. Being from Buffalo, I have been a lifelong fan of wings. The hotter the better! But I love your flavors on these wings. So delicious, and homemade wings are so much cheaper than restaurant wings!

    • Thanks Mike! yeah, that’s why I used the concentrate. I do that often when I make up recipes or when recipes call for orange juice. I feel the concentrate adds so much more flavor.

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