Over the two (wonderful) years of running this little food blog, there has been one fact about The Husband and I that’s impacted almost every recipe I’ve published:
Overall, we do not like spicy food.
In fact, we don’t even season our food very much at all. I’m more on board with the idea of “flavor melodies” than he is, but in general, we’re happy just tasting the main ingredients.
However, I will say this: every now and then, you’ve got to venture out of your comfort zone and be a little adventurous. Go that extra step to see if you can find something new to love.
This is how I felt as I was browsing around our local Oil & Vinegar store. They had so many different types of herbs, spices, oils, and sauces that I simply had to try a few of the recipes they had available in the store.
And one of those recipes? These delicious piri piri chicken wings.
Now, the original recipe was named something different: Honey Garlic Chicken Wings. And this recipe does, in fact, include a lot of delicious honey and garlic.
However, once I tasted these wings, I simply had to rename them, because I wanted anyone who reads this recipe to be clear on one very important fact about this recipe:
These chicken wings are spicy.
Now, I’ve already said that The Husband and I aren’t big fans of hot, spicy food, you so might be wondering: why did I make these wings?
Well, for one, when I read the name, I was expecting these wings to have a honey garlic flavor, which I assumed meant that they would be mild.
And for two, even after I carefully inspected the piri piri bottle and felt it looked a lot like hot sauce, when I actually braved a taste of it, I didn’t think it was “that hot.” There was a little burn, yes, but nothing that would keep me from eating these wings, especially if I could dip them in some cool ranch.
However, there was one tiny detail that I didn’t think to consider:
The recipe instructions stated to bring the honey, butter, piri piri sauce to a boil.
Now, I can’t claim to know for certain (because I’m certainly not a food chemist) but judging from my own person experience, I fully believe that heating up the piri piri sauce unlocked some sort of hidden spicy potential. Before I knew it, these wings went from wussy to powerful.
So there we were, ready for dinner, and I had managed to make these amazingly good wings that were just outside of the “spicy comfort zone” for The Husband and I. I did manage to eat a few wings, so I knew they were good – I just also knew I’d be in trouble later if I ate a whole batch.
This is where are awesome friends come in, because we were able to quickly re-home these tasty wings with one of The Husband’s coworkers. I mean, he literally drove across town just so he could pick them up.
And his verdict? These wings were delicious.
So take it from me (and The Husband’s coworker): like piri piri sauce or just like a little more spicy kick in your life, these wings will be perfect for you!
Baked Piri Piri Chicken Wings
Baked in chili-garlic oil and coated in a spicy-sweet sauce, these piri piri chicken wings will be a hit for your next weeknight diner or game day feast!
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- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together garlic oil, garlic powder, aglio e peperoncino, plus salt and pepper to taste. Dip and coat chicken wings in the oil mixture, then transfer wings to the prepared baking sheet. It's okay to load up the baking sheet with wings - just keep them in a single layer and not touching. When all of the wings have been coated, pour any excess oil mixture on top of the chicken.
- Bake chicken for 35-40 minutes.
- While chicken cooks, add piri piri sauce, honey, and butter to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once the sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low until the next step.
- When chicken is done cooking, remove from oven. Separate 1/3 of the honey piri piri sauce and brush it on one side of the chicken wings. Return chicken wings to the oven and cook for about 2 minutes. Optional step: remove wings from the oven, use tongs to flip them over, brush on more honey piri piri sauce, and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Serve chicken wings immeidately with remaining warm honey piri piri sauce for dipping.