Brace yourselves. These Sriracha & Bourbon Chicken Wings Recipe are on point for your next finger food happy hour! Grab some napkins, you’re going to need them. 10,000 over the top indulgent gluttonous game day inspired recipes are hitting the internet in tidal waves as you read. Insert that weird Game of Thrones meme here and stay hungry, my friends.
There’s something about large gatherings and sports on TV that inspire us to devour some of the most caloric crazy for you foods we can fit on a classic paper plate and lick off of our fingers. From extra cheese pizzas to and wildly layered dips with all the craft brews we can shove in those communal coolers super bowl Sunday is the junk food Thanksgiving of the new year, and there’s no reason to slow things down now!
My contribution this year? Spicy bourbon chicken wings. I wanted to throw down a chicken wing recipe with a little more kick than normal. I wasn’t looking for basic barbecue sauce and I kind of have a secret deep-rooted hatred for Buffalo so these wings were an adaptation from Suny Anderson that left me feeling like I should just actually make 10 or 12 more batches to keep the creative juices flowing.
The sriracha leaves a burn that doesn’t make you want to rip your tongue out while the bourbon glaze matures all the flavors just a bit. The combo is a twist of deep-fried sriracha chicken wings that really pops in a unique way while not just jumping on board with the chili sauce trend.
Who knew wings were that inspiring.
How to make sriracha & bourbon chicken wings
Wing recipes are never complicated (ok, they shouldn’t be complicated). These involve letting the wings dry. We do that to get moisture out of the skin. Think about it, soggy skin does not go well when it’s cooked. So, first we dry it for the best bite.
Also, it’s a safety thing. Water makes oil pop – so the more moisture we get out of these before we dunk them in hot oil, the better.
While the wings are air-drying you can whip up the sauce in one pan and let it simmer down a bit. Make sure not to run it too hot or it will burn.
And once that’s done and the oil is heated, all that’s left is to fry the wings. Work in batches tho – which is totally frustrating, I get it, I just want to be done too. But as we add cold things to our pot of hot oil, we reduce the temperature. Cooking in oil works because it cooks quickly – if you reduce the temp and things cook slower, they get, well, bogged down with oil. And that’s gross.
After the wings have fried and are safe to handle, I pop them into a big bowl where I toss the sauce over them and shake it to coat everything.
See, not that much work at all. Promise. Now, go make some amazing wings!
So what is sriracha sauce exactly?
Brought to the US by Vietnamese refugees, sriracha continues to grow more popular. Today, mostly on the strength of word of mouth – no pun intended – the sauce has become a favorite.
The sauce is a red chili sauce, made with very ripe hot red peppers, garlic, salt, and vinegar. So simple, yet makes everything more interesting.
Can I use other kinds of whiskey besides bourbon?
Bourbon is great because it adds a touch of smoke to the dish. But, really any whiskey works. Even the cheap stuff.
Don’t worry about there being any sort of alcohol left in the sauce. It all cooks out and evaporates completely.
Want more game day inspiration? Try some of my wing recipes
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Sriracha & Bourbon Chicken Wings Recipe
- dutch oven
- Oil or Candy Thermometer
- 3 lbs chicken wings
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil
- 3/4 cups sriracha hot chili sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup honey plus 1 tbs
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and arrange on a baking sheet. Allow the wings to dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and set out to making the sauce.
- Whisk the sriracha, ketchup, sugar, honey, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan.
- Mix in the bourbon and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened a bit, stirring occasionally about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, add enough oil to fry the wings, leaving at least 2 inches unfilled to the top for safety. Allow the oil to heat to 360 degrees F.
- Add the wings in small batches and fry for 10-14 minutes, until cooked through.
- Allow the chicken to drain on a paper towel for a few minutes before tossing in the prepared sauce and serving.