RECIPE: Cocoa Habanero Wings ~ The Best Hot Wing Recipe? | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures RECIPE: Cocoa Habanero Wings ~ The Best Hot Wing Recipe? | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Cocoa Habanero Wings ~ The Best Hot Wing Recipe?

Here’s the wing recipe that THE NIBBLE’s chef Johnny Gnall will be enjoying during the Super Bowl:

“Wings are one of those things that people just get excited about,” says Chef Johnny. They seem synonymous with sharing, partying and enjoying with friends. Any time I can remember eating wings, it was with others, digging in and getting messy.

“Best of all, wings can be very, very delicious. Everyone has his preference: teriyaki or buffalo, spicy or mild, from the spot down the block or the one across town. When wings are good, they’re really good, and even when they’re bad… they’re still really not that bad.

“More often than not, when people want to get down on some wings, they grab their phone to order them. But wings are way easy to make at home; and making them yourself allows you ultimate control. Even with a standard recipe, you can adjust sweetness and heat so that it’s just right for you.

Even if your team loses, these wings are a winner. Photo by Lauri Patterson | IST.
“This recipe, however, is not a ‘standard’ one. It has a wonderful earthiness to it and a good amount of heat, and it’s not like any wing you’ve ever tasted. They can be made in advance and they will blow some minds.”



  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño jam (any jam can be used; a spicy jam is best if you want more
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons habanero chile (finely minced habanero with seeds works, as does jarred
    habanero paste)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 12 chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

    1. Combine all ingredients except wings and butter; then add wings and toss in the sauce to thoroughly coat. This is best done with your hands so you can really work the sauce into the wings.

    2. Place everything, including as much of the sauce as you can, into a sealable bag and refrigerate overnight (a few hours is fine, but longer marinating is better).

    3. Lay the marinated wings on a greased cookie sheet, but reserve the excess sauce in the bag. Combine it with 2 tablespoons of melted butter by whisking the two together over low heat.

    4. Bake the wings at 350°F for one hour, basting with the butter sauce every 15 minutes.
    Once you taste these wings and see the reactions from others who do, they may very well become a regular request at future gatherings. Given the ease of the recipe and the deliciousness of its results, feel free to volunteer for “wing duty” when you’re invited to parties.

    Even if your team disappoints, your wings will not.

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