Honey BBQ Chicken Wings

Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
Photo: Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
5 pieces

A little sweet, a little spicy, these Honey BBQ Wings are the best of both worlds. It all centers on perfectly cooked chicken wings that start off with a quick deep fry with golden brown results before moving to the oven to keep warm until the full batch is set to go. When you are just about ready to serve, toss them in our honey barbecue sauce, a combination so delicious you'll be smacking your lips in anticipation of every bite. What's even better? You probably have just about all of the sauce ingredients in your pantry already. For testing purposes, we used Martinelli's Apple Cider, though you can use any variety you prefer. Our recipe cross tester called our Honey BBQ Chicken Wings amazingly crispy without a hint of greasiness—the perfect kind note for a wing if we have ever heard one.



  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 2 tsp. onion powder

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 3/4 cup apple cider

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • 2 1/2 lb. whole chicken wings (about 10 wings)

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • Vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil

  • 3/4 cup (about 3 3/8 oz.) cornstarch


  1. Prepare the Sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder; cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant and toasted, about 30 seconds. Stir in cider, honey, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, and salt. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Set aside.

  2. While sauce simmers, prepare the Wings: Cut wings into 3 sections at joints, and discard wing tips. Add wingettes and drumettes to a large bowl; sprinkle with salt, and stir to coat.

  3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour oil to a depth of about 3/4 inch in a large cast-iron skillet (about 3 cups). Heat over medium-high to 375°F.

  4. While oil heats, add cornstarch to a shallow dish. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, toss chicken pieces in cornstarch until completely and evenly coated. Tap off excess, and place on a baking sheet or large plate.

  5. Fry about 6 pieces of chicken in hot oil until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack inserted in a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat frying, in batches, with remaining chicken. (Make sure oil temperature returns to 375°F before adding next batch.)

  6. When all chicken has been fried once, return chicken, in batches, back to oil to fry again, 2 minutes per side. Place finished chicken on a clean wire rack inserted in a rimmed baking sheet, and place in preheated oven to keep warm.

  7. Place chicken and sauce in a large bowl, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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