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Smokin' Sweet Chicken Wings with Cherry Barbecue Glaze


To continue our celebration of California Wine Month, we have a sumptuous Food & Wine recipe that’s ideal for football gatherings and tailgating parties. Think chicken wings with a cherry barbecue glaze, the heart and soul of a great football extravaganza. And here’s the wine twist: This dish pairs perfectly with a fresh, berry-rich Syrah—like ONEHOPE’s 2008 Sonoma Coast Reserve Syrah.

Cherry preserves with habanero chili create a fabulously sticky, sweet and spicy glaze for grilled chicken wings. Glaze them just before serving so the sugars don't burn.

smoking sweet chicken wings with cherry bbq glaze



  1. 2 T. unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped
  3. 1 large habanero chili, seeded and minced
  4. 3/4 cup cherry preserves, preferably sour cherry
  5. 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  6. Salt
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
  8. 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, tips discarded and wings split


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped sweet onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly browned (about five minutes).
  2. Add three-fourth of the minced habanero chili and cook for one minute, just until softened. Scrape the onion and habanero into a blender, add the cherry preserves and lime juice and puree until smooth. Return the cherry glaze to the saucepan and bring it to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the remaining minced habanero chili and season the glaze with salt and black pepper. Transfer the glaze to a small bowl.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat source. Season the chicken wings generously with salt and black pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and crispy (about 20 minutes). Alternatively, broil the wings for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are crispy.
  4. Transfer the chicken wings to a large bowl and toss with one-third of the cherry glaze. Return the wings to the grill or broiler and cook, turning once, just until sticky and caramelized (about two minutes). Return the chicken wings to the bowl and toss with another one-third of the cherry glaze. Transfer the glazed chicken wings to a platter and serve with the remaining glaze on the side.

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