Chicken Wings With Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce

June 20, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Food52
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes 30 wings
Author Notes

Chicken wings are the quintessential party food for any gathering, large or small. But these chicken wings aren’t your ordinary spicy, buttery hot sauce-d wings. This unique twist on chicken wings, with a homemade BBQ sauce, is full of pantry ingredients that come together quickly, without breaking a sweat.

What makes these wings reign supreme is the addition of hibiscus to the BBQ sauce. The dried hibiscus flowers have a tart and tangy, brightly floral fruitiness and refreshing flavor that balances the spice from the Scotch bonnet pepper. The hibiscus is cooked down with onion and garlic, which adds even more punchy flavor, and the sweetness from the molasses (or brown sugar, in a pinch) brings the flavor profile home. Throwing the wings under the broiler adds char similar to that of a grill and caramelizes the sauce which lends a sticky texture to the skin. Make sure you stock up on extra napkins because these wings will be your new go-to for many celebrations. —Millie Peartree

What You'll Need
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Chicken Wings With Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce
  • For the hibiscus barbecue sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (for a substitute, use a habanero pepper)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • For the chicken wings:
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated at the joint and tips removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. For the hibiscus barbecue sauce:
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and scallions, and cook until the onions are slightly translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add all the dry spices and herbs to the saucepan, including the salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Add 1 cup water plus the tomato paste, dried hibiscus flowers, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and Scotch bonnet pepper to the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Once the mixture has simmered and the hibiscus flowers have softened, remove from the heat.
  5. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth and thoroughly combined; add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the sauce to the desired consistency, if needed.
  6. Return the barbecue sauce to the saucepan and stir in the honey. Taste the sauce and season with additional salt, as needed.
  1. For the chicken wings:
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Pat the chicken wings dry before adding them to a large bowl. Drizzle the chicken wings with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika, tossing to coat.
  4. Arrange the seasoned chicken wings in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, making sure the wings don’t touch each other. (Use two baking sheets if needed.)
  5. Bake the chicken wings, turning once, until browned, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the oven and place in a fresh bowl. Toss the chicken wings in the hibiscus barbecue sauce and return them to the wire rack set over the baking sheet.
  6. Bake the chicken wings for an additional 10 minutes, turning the wings over at the halfway point. Serve hot.

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Millie Peartree

Recipe by: Millie Peartree

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