Towards the end of college, I went through a buffalo phase fueled by the campus bar’s menu. In addition to wings, Connor Larkin’s had buffalo chicken nachos and a buffalo burger with blue cheese. It was reasonably priced, just two blocks from my apartment, and full of long tables and booths perfect for piling in with friends. In other words, it was heaven.
I moved a few times quickly after graduating, the second time landing in Connecticut with my now-husband. It was a weird, small town about 20 minutes north of Hartford. We quickly adopted a sports bar that morphed my love of buffalo flavor into a love a wings.
Yarde made all of their sauces (and salad dressings) in-house. The wings and drumettes were meaty, perfectly fried and tossed in the sauces that stuck, creating a delicious mess. When we didn’t know what to have for dinner, a dozen wings and shared salad was usually what we’d end up eating. There are still nights, three years after another move, that we say “so, Yarde?” wishing it wasn’t a three hour drive.
The honey hot sauce was our favorite — a cross between buffalo and honey bbq. While we haven’t exactly replicated it, we have a good stand-in. Our love of sports means we’ve also mastered the art of a homemade game day menu and these wings, baked in the oven, are the centerpiece.
Baked Honey Hot Wings
What you need:
- 2-4 pounds of wings and drumettes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Rays)
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (Franks)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, place the chicken wings, canola oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place on baking sheet, skin/meatest side down. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another large bowl mix the bbq sauce, orange juice, hot sauce, honey and spices. Taste and season with salt and pepper, a few grinds each, and adjust heat with additional shakes of hot sauce. Set aside.
- Flip the wings and drumettes over, bake another 10 minute until golden on both sides.
- Pull wings from oven and using tongs, dip wings in sauce and return to baking sheet. Bake another 8-10 minutes, or until slightly glazed and sticky.
- Remove from oven, toss with remaining sauce and serve.
- The cooking spray seems unnecessary, but I’ve found that chicken skin likes to still stick to parchment. Don’t skip the parchment. Foil is an ok substitute in a pinch.
- This makes enough sauce for up to four pounds of wings. It’s easy to double, but I wouldn’t half unless you like dry wings.
- Trader Joe’s sells frozen wings, which you can bake from frozen, just add 10 minutes to the first cooking time.