Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

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Perfect party chicken wings! With a tasty glaze made with Bourbon whisky and maple syrup.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

These are sticky. These are messy. These are the best darn chicken wings I’ve ever had. As in keep them away from me or I’ll eat them all. As in protect your wings or I’ll take them when you’re not looking. As in you’ll need more napkins because these wings really are finger-licking awesome.

I don’t really drink (half a glass of wine and I have a hard time stringing together a sentence), but I always keep a bottle of good bourbon whisky in the cabinet because I love to cook with it. Bourbon imparts a subtle smoky flavor when used in cooking, and when paired with maple syrup? Oh my. Perfect.

For those of you concerned about the alcohol level in this wings, almost all of it boils away. It is not remotely discernible in the taste.

So are they kid-friendly? Yes. Though as I mentioned they are sticky and messy and you certainly don’t want to give them to a four-year old sitting on a white couch. Enjoy!

Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 15 to 20 pieces

If you buy whole chicken wings, cut away and discard the wing tips (or save for stock), and separate the drumettes from the rest of the wing with a cleaver or a sharp knife. Single segment wing pieces are much easier to eat as finger food.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp grated onion (use small hole grater)
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whisky
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (grade A)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-inch sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 drops Tabasco (more or less to taste)

Method

1 Make the bourbon maple glaze: Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the grated onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the bourbon whisky, the maple syrup, tomato paste, rosemary, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Whisk to combine. Bring to a low simmer.

2 Coat wings with glaze and arrange on roasting pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken wings in a bowl and pour half of the bourbon maple sauce over the wings, returning the remaining sauce to the stovetop.

Toss the wings with the sauce to coat.

Arrange the wings on an oiled, foil-lined baking pan, with space between each wing.

3 Roast the wings: Roast the wings at 350°F for 20 minutes, then turn the wings over and roast them an additional 12- 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Lower the heat or remove from oven if the wings start getting too dark.

4 Boil remaining glaze until thickened: While the wings are roasting, boil the remaining sauce until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat.

If it is taking too long for the sauce to reduce, pour it into a wide shallow pan and bring to a boil. The wider pan will make sauce evaporate more easily.

5 Coat cooked wings in glaze: When wings are done, remove them to a bowl and toss with the remaining sauce.

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Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

Showing 4 of 42 Comments

  • Cathy Weaver

    I’m going to try these, but based on comments I will add a touch of cayenne to the glaze to see if that works. I have the perfect shallow wide pan to reduce the sauce in!

  • Tim

    BEST WINGS EVER!!! I now use a wok. Heat enough canola 350 – 375 to cover wings 2 or 3 minutes golden brown. Remove oil reduce heat put wings back into wok add sauce stir till sticky thick. Marinade wings in sauce before cooking. Use Jim Beam Black. Add 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 tsp cayenne to the sause.

  • Terry LaForce

    Thanks for the recipe using bourbon. Like you, I don’t drink it but use it in cooking. Always looking for more bourbon recipes – gotta use up that fifth of bourbon. I got a great one for Bourbon Beef Short Ribs from From Calculus to Cupcakes that is worth the cost of beef short ribs.

  • Lisa

    Hi. I am dying to try this recipe, but is there a slow cooker option? If so, how long and would you recommend broiling chicken in oven, first? Thinking of taking them somewhere I do not have the option to broil after.

  • Ellie

    Made these tonight. After reading some of the comments, I would suggest that you bake the wings until browned and crispy. Cook the sauce, even at a higher temp, so it thickens. My sauce took awhile to thicken. But I didn’t bother transfering to a larger pan as recommended. Regardless of what the time says, go by wing crispiness and sauce thickness. Too many variables with the chicken wings. BTW, I ran out of maple syrup and ended up adding about a 1/4 cup of blackberry syrup. Thought they turned out very good! I will make them again!

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