Family Reunion

Spicy Tequila-Lime Chicken Wings

April 27, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.
  • Prep time 4 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

My family is obsessed with chicken wings. We love to smoke them, bake them, air-fry them, deep-fry them—the list goes on. One typical go-to recipe features a generous amount of bourbon, agave, and hot sauce for wings that are magically sticky and sweet. Recently, however, my parents were out of bourbon and decided to add a splash (or two) of reposado tequila in their wings marinade instead—the result was, unsurprisingly, delicious.

The lime enhances the crisp flavor of the tequila in the recipe, while the spicy Thai chilies and agave add balancing heat and sweetness. For the crispiest oven-baked wings, I roast them on a wire rack set on top of an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

To go alongside your platter of wings, I’ve included a super easy recipe for Buffalo-roasted nuts—ready for all your summer barbecues and beyond.
Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with LG STUDIO. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the chicken wings:
  • 1/2 cup reposado tequila
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest (optional: reserve 1/4 teaspoon for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 pound party-style wings
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • For the Buffalo-roasted nuts:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons Buffalo-style hot sauce (like Frank’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. For the chicken wings:
  2. In a bowl, combine the tequila, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, black pepper, salt, chilies, agave, and ginger. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Place the mixture in a large, resealable bag. Add the wings and marinate for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Using tongs, remove the wings and place them skin-side up on a metal wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Reserve the marinade for the sauce.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  7. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the leftover marinade and brown sugar and reduce over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Strain the mixture and reserve.
  8. Glaze the top of the wings with the sauce and garnish with black sesame seeds, scallions, cilantro, and lime zest (if using).
  1. For the Buffalo-roasted nuts:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, Buffalo sauce, and sugar. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the nuts, and toss until fully coated.
  5. Spread the seasoned nuts onto a foil-lined baking sheet in one even layer.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the seasoning is no longer glossy and wet.
  7. Remove from the oven and season with salt to taste.

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