I generally do not like to participate in recipe contests because they make me super-nervous. I would consider myself an upper-level competitive person and, frankly, I don’t like to lose!
I was contacted a few weeks ago by Solo foods and they wanted me to enter a fun recipe tournament called The Sweet Sixteen. The idea was pretty straightforward so I decided to give it a go. The company picked sixteen good food blogs and we were all suppose to create a dessert and then we would pair off in a single elimination sort of tournament.
I tried two recipes for this contest. The first was some sort of homemade candy bar disaster. It was so gross that I can’t even speak of it.
The second thing I tried is this delicious wing recipe which is what I ended up entering in the contest! Turns out I’m the only person that made a savory dish for the competition.
Whatever though… it’s football season so wings are always good.
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a large baking pan and place wings, skin-side up on the oiled pan. Season well with salt and pepper.
2) Bake wings for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn pan 180 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Keep wings skin-side up the entire time for baking.
3) While wings bake, add butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add grated onion and minced garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook until veggies are soft, about 4 minutes.
4) Remove stems and seeds from habaneros. I recommend wearing plastic gloves while working with habaneros. They are very hot and if you accidentally touch your eyes or something, it will really burn. Mince habaneros very finely. If you don’t use gloves, wash your hands well immediately after handling the peppers.
5) Add habaneros to saucepan along with apricot filling, soy sauce, water, and paprika. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Keep sauce warm, but if it’s done way before your wings, take it off the heat and then reheat before you serve so the sauce doesn’t get too thick.
6) When wings are done, remove them from pan and add them to a large bowl. Toss with apricot sauce.
7) Serve wings immediately garnished with lots of fresh scallion greens and blue cheese dressing.
You could definitely fry these wings, but I find that baking is a bit easier and just as good if you have the time. For my wings, I didn’t even cut them up into pieces. I just made them whole which makes them even messier to eat (bonus).
Just lightly grease a baking sheet and lay out the wings, skin-side up. Season the wings lightly with salt and pepper.
Bake these suckers at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. I recommend turning the sheet pan 180 degrees halfway through just to make sure the wings are cooking evenly.
After around 45 minutes, the wings should be cooked and the skin nice and crispy.
While the wings are cooking, you can work on the sauce.
Apricot Habanero Sauce
This sauce only has a few ingredients in it, but it packs a serious punch. If you don’t have or don’t want to use apricot cake filling, you can use any apricot jam or jelly also.
I got in trouble with a friend recently for not properly advising people how to work with habanero peppers.
They are very hot.
I seriously recommend wearing rubber gloves while chopping them because if you touch them and then touch any part of your body, you will regret it. Some parts more than others.
If you ignore this warning (I always do), just be sure to wash your hands very well after you work with them.
Other than that, be sure to grate your onion so it almost dissolves in the sauce. Then combine the butter, onion, peppers, and garlic in a small saucepan.
Cook those down over medium heat for about five minutes an then add all the other sauce ingredients.
Cook it down on low heat for about ten minutes and then remove it from the heat. If your wings aren’t ready to go when the sauce is done, don’t keep cooking the sauce because it will get too thick. Just remove it from the heat and then heat it up again when your wings are ready.
Assuming your wings and sauce are ready to go though, just add them all to a large bowl and toss them together to coat the wings nicely in sauce.
Serve these guys with blue cheese dressing and scallions.
And lots of cold drinks because guess what? These are hot. Very hot.
Of course, you can vary your heat here and I recommend most people start with 3 habaneros and see how the sauce tastes like that.
I like very hot wings so five was about right for me. The apricot and heat from the peppers works perfectly together. It’s seriously a match made in appetizer heaven.
If you like me, and my wings, you can vote for these suckers in The Sweet Sixteen recipe contest TODAY!