Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Supernatural Sticky Wings from Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle, sticky wing freak,
and author of The Coffeehouse
Wings are good eats. I grew up on my Aunt Mary's broiled chicken wings, so they bring back good memories, too.

Over the last few years, Korean-style sticky wings have become a popular treat here in New York City. These wings, which are described as "Korean pub food," are lip-smackin' good, whether they're eaten in a pub, in one of the Korean wing shops around town, or on a Central Park bench.

My husband and I have enjoyed these wings so much that we put a knockoff recipe for UFC soy-garlic wings in our latest culinary mystery (Roast Mortem). 

Roast Mortem:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
(Click cover to learn more.)
Today I have a completely different wing
recipe for you, but one that's just as transcendently delicious.

As I mentioned in my recent posts, The Wall Street Journal reported that we're in for a banner year in the production of maple syrup (after last year's lackluster season).

If you missed my Maple Madness post, click here to get my recipe for Smoky-Sweet Maple Vinaigrette or click here to get my recipe for Maple Cookies 2 Ways.

This week, I'm using maple syrup as the star ingredient in a sticky wing recipe. The marinade begins the flavoring process by soaking the chicken wings in a sweet and savory bath. The glaze finishes the sticky wings with a combination of maple, honey, lemon, ginger, and an ingredient that really pulls it all together: cumin. This ancient spice is often used in Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, and Asian cooking. Here it deepens the glaze flavor, adding an earthy, nutty, ever-so-slightly mustard-like dimension that sends these sticky wings right out of this world...

Cleo Coyle's

Supernatural Sticky Wings

To download this recipe as a free PDF format that you can print, save, or share, click here. 

Makes 12 chicken wings (about 4 pounds)

Ingredients for Marinade

12 chicken wings (about 4 pounds)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Ingredients for Glaze (to baste during cooking)

Makes 1/3 cup glaze (enough to baste 12 wings)
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

See 2 tasty wing variations at the end of this recipe.

Step 1—Make Marinade: Smash garlic and chop. Throw into a bowl with maple syrup, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, pepper, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Wash chicken wings, pat dry, and cut off the tips. Place wings in a re-sealable plastic bag or container. Pour marinade over wings, toss to thoroughly coat, and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

 Step 2—Make glaze: First preheat oven to 350° F. While oven is warming up, make the maple glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, over low heat. Simmer, stirring continually for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture thickens and becomes syrupy. Test by dipping a spoon into the glaze. When it easily coats the back of the spoon, it’s ready.

Step 3—Oven Roast (or grill): To cut down on the clean up, line a shallow pan with aluminum foil. Place a rack over the pan and coat the rack with nonstick spray. Remove wings from marinade and discard the excess liquid. Place wings on the rack and roast. Total cooking time is 80 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, turn over each wing and brush liberally with the glaze. Cook another 15 minutes. Flip the wings and baste a second time. Cook for another 15 minutes. Baste for a third time and cook a final 15 – 20 minutes. (Be patient with the cooking time and do not increase the oven temperature to speed up the process or you’ll likely scorch the sugar in the glaze.)

Variation 1—South Carolina-style Mustard BBQ:
Use the same Marinade recipe, but in the Glaze recipe replace 1 tablespoon of the honey with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.

Variation 2—Sweet-Hot:
Use the same Marinade recipe, but in the Glaze recipe add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and…


Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


  1. Think I might have actually just drooled on my computer!

  2. Congratulations to MJ on "Busy Woman's Guide to Murder"--woot!

    Looks fantastic, Cleo! I love maple syrup and I bet that cumin added just the perfect touch. Can't wait to try this here!

  3. I already made my trip to B&N and walked out with several books including MJ's.

    I think I have a package of chicken wings in the freezer. Just need to pick up a few ingredients and I'm making these.

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Cleo! I think I'll make this delicious recipe to celebrate today. Wings are such perfect party food and these sound and look magnificent!

  5. Drat--I must stop reading these posts when I'm hungry. Sounds like a great combination of flavors.

  6. Wings are a bit hit here at the Hightower household. Now that I had to wipe the droll off my laptop I can print the recipe :). Thanks Cleo as always got great pics and food. These will be made this weekend as we are cooking out to celebrate some good news and this will be perfect.

    Congrats MJ I have your book in my tbr list got it from amazon yesterday :).

  7. Oh, yum, don't these look delish! Love wings and adding syrup? Well, you know me and syrup. I made your dressing last week and it was fabulous!

    Congrats, Mary Jane. Very excited for your new book!

    Hugs to all,

    Avery AveryAames.com

  8. Wow, wow. I love chicken wings, Cleo and you have me drooling here, too. Wonderful post. Great pics as always!

    Congrats MJ on The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder. I think that's one of my favorite titles ever!

  9. my tummy is being very loud right now thanks to your photos lol. it looks just DIVINE! can't wait to try it!

    p.s. mustard is my secret ingredient in most of my marinades and mustard powder in my dry rubs. lol =]

  10. I've never met a chicken wing I didn't like! ;) These sound fabulous, Cleo. Thanks.

    Big Congrats to MJ on her launch day! Can't wait to read The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder.

  11. Thanks to everyone for such lovely comments AND your warm congratulations to MJ on her launch day, woot!

    Eat with joy
    (and a big old stack o' napkins!),
    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  12. Mmmmmmmaple goodness...a Canadian girl's dream come true! The wings look and sound divine!

  13. Wow, Cleo. I want to bite into one of those wings. Great recipe!

    ~ Krista

  14. These look awesome as well as flavorful, we all could use something supernatural once in a while. Great post.

  15. Great Pictures! I think we may need some extra napkins for this. I bookmarked it so I can enjoy them later.