Grilled Chicken Wings with 9-Spice Dry Rub


For extra-juicy chicken, chef Timothy Hollingsworth brines his wings for three hours before tossing them in his go-to spice rub. Slideshow: More Chicken Wing Recipes 

Grilled Chicken Wings with 9-Spice Dry Rub
For extra-juicy chicken, these wings are brined for three hours before they’re tossed in spice rub. Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs



  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, tips discarded and wings split


  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion

  • 3/4 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon dry sage

  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne

  • Canola oil, for brushing

  • Lime wedges, for serving


Brine the wings

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the salt, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

  2. In a large bowl, pour the brine over the chicken wings. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Meanwhile make the rub

  1. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the oil and lime.

  2. Light a grill and oil the grate. Drain the wings and pat dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the wings with 1/3 cup of the dry rub. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot with lime wedges.

Make Ahead

The dry rub can be stored in an airtight container for 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

Pair these intensely spiced wings with a crisp pale ale.

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