Maple bourbon glazed chicken wings grilled to perfection, sweet and sticky with a touch of heat, these are sinfully additive!
I recently bought a bottle of bourbon because I was obsessed with trying a Manhattan cocktail and well, turns out it’s not the drink for me, but it was well received by my husband. So I set out to find a way to use that bourbon and wings were my first thought.
Bourbon combined with maple syrup and you’ve got yourself one delicious glaze for some whiskey maple chicken wings. I know people like wings for appetizers and tailgating, but for us they make for a great summer grilled dinner. Only problem is trying not to eat too many!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
- Bourbon and pure maple syrup
- A couple pounds of chicken wings
- Your favorite dry rub
- Tomato paste, cider vinegar and brown sugar
- And for a little heat, some adobo sauce from a can of chipotles
HOW TO MAKE THE GLAZE
It’s so easy to make, just combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer until slightly reduced and thickened a bit, you want syrupy.
HOW TO GRILL THE WINGS
First, you can opt for whole wings or separate flats and drummies. I actually bought whole wings and broke them down myself, saving the wing tips in the freezer for stock. They are easier to eat separated into the smaller sections. I also find the whole wings cheaper and meatier than the prepackaged separated one’s, another reason I cut them up myself.
I also took the grilling advice from Hank Shaw of Simply Recipes, which is low and slow over indirect heat. I found this method best for tender, practically fall-off-the-bone wings. Quick grilling resulted in a rubbery texture, at least for me it did.
Season the wings with a little dry rub, salt and pepper, then grill on low indirect heat as described in the recipe card at the end of this post, basting with the maple bourbon sauce a few times near the end.
RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS
- The recipe works with whole wings or separate flats and drummies, your preference totally. We’ve made them both ways and both are good, the separated wings are a little easier to eat.
- You might think the adobo sauce will be too spicy but trust me, when brushed on the chicken and grilled, it mellows and is not at all too spicy.
- The glaze can burn easily on the grill, thus the low indirect heat is important. Just keep an eye on them, charred blackened spots may happen but that’s okay, they taste great!
- This makes a little under a cup of maple bourbon sauce which is plenty, be sure to save a little to brush on just before serving. A little extra stickiness is a good thing!
- Grilled chicken wings are definitely okay for the main meal, and also good with blue cheese or ranch dressing on the side.
- Give the maple bourbon glaze a try on chicken, ribs, salmon and pork, too. Delicious!
Maple bourbon grilled chicken wings are the perfect summer grilling choice if you’re a wing fan like us. The maple syrup and bourbon make the perfect glaze with a little heat from the chipotle adobo sauce, big chef’s kiss on this one, giving new meaning to finger licking good! Enjoy, Kelly🍴🐦
Love summer grilling season, or year round grilling like us? Check out these recipes for some inspiration:
- St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks
- BBQ St. Louis Style Spareribs
- Marinated Grilled Flank Steak
- Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
- Harissa Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce
Maple Bourbon Grilled Chicken Wings
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken wings about 10 whole wings or 20 pieces
- Your favorite dry rub for chicken
- Place first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer and stir until reduced slightly and thickened into a syrupy glaze, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the wings all over with a little dry rub, salt and pepper. Prepare grill for indirect, low heat.
- Arrange wings in one layer over indirect low heat on a gas grill. For charcoal, heat coals on one side and place chicken on opposite side. Cover grill and cook for 30 minutes.
- Turn the wings and brush lightly with the maple bourbon glaze. Close the lid and cook another 30 minutes. Flip the wings and lightly brush again with glaze. Repeat this process every 10 or 15 minutes until wings are done, about two more times for a total grill time of about 1½ hours.
- Brush the finished wings with a little extra glaze and serve. Enjoy!
- This recipe makes about ¾ to 1 cup of maple bourbon sauce/glaze.
- Use any dry rub you like for chicken, or you can just salt and pepper the wings and skip the rub.
- The sauce will keep in a jar with tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for a week or two.
- Grilling method adapted from Simply Recipes.