Helloooo! How was your weekend?! We had a fabulous one filled with swimming, BBQs, a food truck festival, and tons of family time. All good stuff. Weather wise, it feels like summer has come early, and we’re soaking up every second. Kieran makes this time of year so much fun, too. His swimming experience yesterday was one of the most joyful experiences of his short life thus far (he definitely doesn’t remember his first swims last summer. It was like an entirely new experience). All the feels.
Anywho. With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I’ve been brainstorming some fun foods that I know both the dads in my life (my dad and my hub) would enjoy. We’re hosting a Father’s Day BBQ this Sunday, and I’ve got a super fun menu planned. First up: wings! But not just any wings. Noooo, no, no. These have a few fun twists.
Several weeks ago, I was watching Food Network on a lazy Sunday morning and saw an episode of Bobby Flay’s brunch show. While I often have cooking shows on in the background without any active watching unless something catches my attention, I was totally tuned into this one. Bobby made this luxurious looking mango hot sauce. From scratch. I don’t even remember how/what he served it with, but I remember thinking “Oh, I have to make something with that.” My blogger mind was already off and running. Which probably explains why I don’t remember the rest of the show. “Mango hot sauce” was all I could focus on.
The mango, as you might expect, cuts the heat perfectly. The sauce is still pleeeenty hot but has that sweet and fruity element going on to balance things out a bit. I’m a huge fan. In fact, my dad happened to be over visiting when I finished making the sauce. He snuck a taste and just about died and went to heaven. He is a spicy food fanatic (no, really. He grows his own hot peppers and they are way hotter than anything you can buy in the store. He puts them on EVERYTHING). To get his stamp of approval on the sauce was big. I wasn’t sure how the mango thing would go over with him. But he loved it! I even sent him home with some to drizzle over his morning eggs or evening tacos. He was a very happy camper.
My husband, father, and I all love hot wings. They’re definitely one of my most favorite guilty pleasures during football season. And both the men in my life are on board. Give me all the hot sauce, creamy bleu cheese dip, and crunchy celery you’ve got! I think my blood may run buffalo orange. Hah.
I’ve made wings a handful of times at home, and I gotta say, as wonderful as they are, frying those babies up is a pain in the you know what. Deep frying at home is just so NOT my thing. I’ve made baked wings before, and they were fabulous. So, I thought I would give the baked wing another go.
Which brings me to this disclaimer: these baked wings, as delicious and tender and juicy as they are, do not get nearly as crispy as fried wings would. The skin still caramelizes and chars in spots, adding some wonderful texture and flavor to the situation, but they are NOT crispy fried wings. I just want to set the expectation bar at the right place. That said, you could totally fry these instead of baking them! Just make sure they’re plenty dry before putting them in hot oil. Toss them in the mango sauce when they come out of the oil.
I could eat plate after plate of these. Tangy, hot, a touch sweet, and loaded with juicy chicken flavor. The yogurt dipping sauce kind of makes everything sing in harmony together. It cuts the heat just slightly and adds toooons of fresh flavor which, for me, is almost mandatory for anything and everything I consume.
The best part? This entire recipe, from the hot sauce to the marinating to the dip, can be made completely ahead. The only thing left to do before serving it to actually bake/fry the wings! That if you’re baking them, it really is a cinch. Everything comes together easily and deliciously.
Which makes these wings PERFECT for your Father’s Day celebration this weekend. I think my dad will be very happy to see these again. I’ll make sure to serve his with extra hot sauce on the side.
For the Wings:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 2 serrano peppers, stemmed and quartered lengthwise (seeds/ribs left intact)
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 lbs chicken wings, tips and wings separated
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
For the Yogurt Dip:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% fat is my favorite)
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Wings:
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan until melted. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the mangoes, peppers, vinegar, and honey and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth (being careful to pause every now and then to allow steam to escape!). Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and additional honey or vinegar, as needed. Cool the sauce to room temperature.
- When you are ready to cook the wings, preheat your oven broiler and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange the wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. You want a single layer with a little space between each wing; you may need two baking sheets to achieve this. Season with salt and pepper.
- Broil for 10 minutes, flip, and then broil for another 10 minutes or until the wings are cooked through and the skin is crispy.
- While the wings are broiling, place roughly a cup of the hot sauce in a medium saucepan and add the butter. Heat until the butter is melted and the sauce is warmed through.
- Toss the cooked wings in the sauce, coating them evenly and thoroughly. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with cilantro, and serve alongside the yogurt dip.
For the Yogurt Dip:
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to serve. I find this tastes best if it is made a few hours ahead of time.
Wing sauce adapted from here.