Chicken Wings with Molasses Barbecue Sauce

These super-flavorful crusty wings come from Adam Perry Lang, founder of NYC's Daisy May's BBQ and author of Charred & Scruffed. They are fantastic with or without Lang's sweet-and-sticky barbecue sauce.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Time(Other): plus 14 hr marinating
KEY: Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Father's Day, Game Day, Appetizers/starters, Snack

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  • 3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 1/2 pounds chicken wings—wing tip discarded, wings separated at the joints
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Molasses Barbecue Sauce, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot, combine 1 quart of water with the orange juice and lime juice, salt, smashed garlic, sugar, soy sauce, oregano, peppercorns, lemon halves and cumin and bring to a boil. Let the marinade cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the chicken wings to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 14 to 16 hours.
  3. Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt with the black pepper and cayenne. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the wings with the seasoning salt and grill over moderately high heat, turning often, until charred and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken wings to a serving platter and sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro. Serve the Molasses Barbecue Sauce at the table.


Variation: Light a hardwood charcoal fire. The coals are ready when they have a strong red glow and a thin coating of white ash. Working in batches, put the marinated chicken wings in a hinged grill basket, leaving space between them. With a hair dryer or chimney bellow, blow as much ash as possible from the coals. Set the grill basket directly on the hot coals and cook the wings for 3 minutes. Turn the basket and cook for 3 minutes. Repeat twice more (a total of 18 minutes) until the wings are nicely charred and cooked through.

Suggested Pairing

The sweet, rich molasses sauce here calls for a wine with dark-berry flavors, like Malbec.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published June 2012

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