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Cut the wings into 3 sections and discard the wing tips. In a large saucepan, combine the syrup, chile sauce, lime juice, and mustard. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup.

Meanwhile, in a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, paprika, and pepper, add the wings a few at a time, and shake to coat.

In a skillet or deep-fryer, heat enough oil to 375 degrees. Fry the wings, a few at a time, for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Transfer the wings to a large bowl and add the sauce mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

  • 5 pounds chicken wings
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters lime juice
  • 1/2 cup/120 milliliters soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup/60 milliliters vegetable oil
  • 4 green chilies (seeded and finely diced)
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters white pepper

Combine all marinade in a large plastic bowl.

Trim off wing tips. If using whole wings, cut between the join separating the flats portion from the drummettes.

Place wings into a large resealable plastic bag or two regular-sized bags.

Pour mixture over top, making sure all the chicken is well coated. If using two bags make sure to divide the mixture in half and use half of the marinade per bag.

Let wings marinate for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove wings from bag(s) and reserve marinade.

Place wings onto grill and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, brushing with reserved marinade during the first 10 minutes of cook time.

Discard marinade after this point.

Turn wings about 4 times during the cooking process. Watch for burning and adjust the temperature or move wings off to the cooler part of the grill. Flats will cook faster than the drummettes, so make sure to have a large plate handy to remove them as needed

Once wings reach an internal temperature of 175 F., remove from grill and serve.

Have you ever tried the magical Mexican seasoning Tajin? I happened to consume a great deal of it recently on a trip to Cabo, mainly via the Tajin-crusted rims of the many, many Micheladas that were imbibed. It’s a tangy and salt chili seasoning with an extreme sour note. It definitely inspired me to create these chile lime wings, which I think are the perfect balance of earthy chile and sour lime. So why not just use Tajin, you say? Well, two reasons. 1) That would be lazy as heck. 2) While Tajin is great for cocktails, it’s a little too concentrated and sour to use as seasoning.

Challenge to recreate the same flavors but with a profile suited to chicken wings – ACCEPTED!

There’s no need to be nervous about cooking chicken correctly, particularly when you have what I consider to be the single most important tool for a meat cook – a great thermometer. I use a Thermapen, which offers precisely calibrated and near-instant readings. Most importantly, it allows me to know when my chicken has reached the exact safe temperature of 165f. No more guess work. Truth be told, you can actually remove your wings from the grill when they start reading around 161-162f, as they will continue to climb in temperature from residual heat.

The resounding positive comments from my test tasters combined with a completely empty platter at the end of the tasting confirm this recipe to be a raging success. It’s also highly customizable in terms of spice – if you like your wings hot, just increase the amount of cayenne. If you follow the original recipe, you’ll find it well balanced and flavorful, but not too hot for those who are a little scared of spice.

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Grilled Chile Lime Chicken Wings


  • 1.5-2 lb chicken wing segments
  • 1.5 tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sumac (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon guajillo chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • zest of two limes


  1. For the marinade: in a large non reactive bowl combine paprika, sumac, ancho, guajillo, salt, garlic, citric acid, achiote and cayenne. Add chicken wings and toss well to coat thoroughly. Add in lime juice, then cover or seal and place in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  2. Set up a grill for two zone cooking (see above for instructions), so you have an active hot and cool zone.
  3. Discard marinade, and place wings onto the hot side of the grill to color, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once they have achieved a nice brown shade, move them to the cool side to continue cooking until they reach 165f at the thickest part, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine finishing powder ingredients of guajillo powder, brown sugar and paprika. Place hot wings in bowl and toss to coat.
  5. Sprinkle with lime zest and serve immediately.

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She's a live fire cook, author, meat specialist and Meat Science grad student. She's also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Australian born and raised, she now lives in Texas.

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How Long To Bake

4. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake another 15 minutes. Rotate one last time and bake another 5-10 minutes until crispy and dark.

Because this recipe has honey in it, you will need to flip the wings a couple of times, so they don’t burn on one side or stick to the bottom.

Enjoy your Chili Lime Baked Chicken Wings as-is, or dunk them in your favorite creamy dressing.

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Let’s Talk About this Chile Lime Sauce!

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the Chile Lime Sauce. It is the finishing touch to an already amazing meal. Simmered over the fire, this Chile Lime Sauce is spicy with a nice citrus tang from the lime juice. I highly recommend making this while cooking, but you can easily plan ahead and make it the night before.

Toss the baked wings in the sauce right before they are seared off over the fire. You end up with a tender but crispy wing all at the same time. The perfect combo.

Cracklin’ Honey Chili Lime Baked Chicken Wings

Remember those days when we flipped couch cushions for loose change to buy gummy worms, chips, and whatever junk food we could get our hands on? I diligently searched for and saved those coins, too, but I had my eyes set on bigger goals: banana cakes and Chinese fried chicken.

When I was in 5th grade, about 10 years old, Mama Lin decided to put me in afternoon Chinese school. For an entire year, after I got out of day school, I hopped on the bus and made my way to Chinatown for 2 hours of Chinese lessons. I did this FIVE times a week. You can see why I needed something comforting to get me through those long days.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chinese fried chicken, here’s the scoop. It’s not just your run-of-the-mill fried chicken that you would find at a KFC. The outer skin is thin and crisp. The flavors are heavy on garlic, salt, five-spice and, undoubtedly, that old reliable MSG. Whenever you finish eating a fried drumstick, expect to see your fingers covered in grease, a sign that you just ate a decent piece of chicken.

I can’t get away with eating that amount of grease anymore. Age does funny things like that. That’s why we’re making baked fried chicken instead. It’s based on Nagi’s Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings, a genius recipe for making crispy wings with significantly less fat than frying. You bake the wings at low heat first, then bump it up to give the wings that nice crunchy exterior. Be ready for the crackle as these babies are baking away in the oven. It’s a beautiful sound.

I’m pairing these wings with a simple sweet and tangy honey chili lime sauce that’s truly finger-lickin’ good. Get those towels ready for these cracklin’ chicken wings! You’ll need it.


  • Turn on Those Kitchen Fans: Maybe it’s the overly sensitive smoke detectors in my house, but I set off all 5 smoke alarms the first time I baked these wings. I suppose burning hot animal fat in the oven can do that. I don’t want the same thing to happen to you. The solution to my problem was leaving the windows open and the kitchen fan on when I’m baking the wings at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). You may want to consider doing that, too.
  • Honey Chili Lime Sauce: The sauce is a bit runny when you first make it, which is why I suggest making it when there’s still about 30 minutes left in the cooking process. The sauce thickens as it cools. The recipe below will probably yield more sauce than you actually need for the wings. Save it for your next stir fry!
  • How Long Will the Wings Stay Crispy? These wings are best served warm, soon after they’re out of the oven. Once they cool to room temperature, they’ll lose their initial crisp, but they will still taste great.

Chipotle Lime Chicken Wings

Tips Chipotle in adobo is found in most grocery stores in the Hispanic section. It is a canned product containing chipotle chili peppers in a thick, rich sauce, adobo.

Notes Everyone’s taste for spicy hotness varies. If you want the wings hotter, use more chipotle in adobo. Taste the marinade as you mix it to adjust the heat.

Here’s a fun food fact: Chipotles are actually smoked jalapeño peppers. They impart a smoky, earthy spiciness to food. These jalapeño are not harvested until they turn very dark red and lose much of their moisture. They are then smoked in special smoker units for several days and stirred often allowing the smoke to penetrate the pepper.

At the end of the smoking process, the peppers have become brown and dried. At this point they can be used as they are, ground into a powder, or canned as chipotle in adobo which is a lightly seasoned sauce containing vinegar and paprika. Adobo is a Spanish word meaning marinade, sauce, or seasoning.

Chili Lime Chicken Wings

Chili Lime Chicken Wings on the grill are tangy and sweet with a little bit of heat. Scrumptious even cold (if you manage to have any leftovers, which I doubt).

We had one chili lime chicken wing left over from dinner the other night, only because I pried it away from my husband who figured ‘why save one wing’. Well it’s gone. I tiptoed downstairs later that night and at that lone wing. Couldn’t resist.

These grilled BBQ chicken wings are really good! The fresh lime, honey, chili and garlic flavors permeate the wings and don’t just coat the top.

The honey-lime-chili glaze is added at the end because of the sugar content which makes it burn easily, so be careful during the last few minutes of cooking. I actually like a bit of char on my grilled chicken wings, but it’s not the healthiest option. You can certainly avoid it if you want.


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