bourbon glazed wings

by Patricia on January 26, 2010 · 12 comments

bourbon glazed wings

It’s that time of year again. You know, when even those who don’t follow football perk up at the mention of a Super Bowl Party. All of a sudden everyone’s got a favorite team. Or not. Football is just the excuse. The party is really about friends and the food. Actually, that’s really what life is about isn’t it? Good friends and good food… but I digress. We’re here to talk about the Super Bowl football food. What says football better than wings?

bourbon glazed wings bourbon glazed wings

I’ve tried making the classic hot wings in the past using a couple of different recipes and I’ll be honest, I’d rather order them from someplace because the ROI (return on investment) for the amount of work put into those wings was pitiful. I’m willing to do a little bit of work as long as the results are worth it. The last hot wings recipe I tried was from Alton Brown. I’m definitely a fan of his, and he hasn’t steered me wrong except in that case. There were just too many steps. Sure, in the end I had crispy wings, but I was too tired to enjoy them.

But in the latest issue of Bon Appétit, I was tempted to give wings another chance by the Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes. They had me at bourbon. While the recipe title intrigued Dan as well, when he found how much bourbon was going into it, he was unsure that it was the best use for something that precious. He’d rather drink it. But after tasting the sauce, he offered me the handle of Jim Beam in his cabinet to make more. Since the recipe is straightforward, easy, and lip-smacking delicious, I am happy to oblige (the ROI is off the charts).

bourbon glazed wings

Bourbon-glazed chicken wings with Blue cheese dipping sauce

(from Bon Appétit, February 2010)

These are nothing like traditional Buffalo wings, but they are a little bit sweet with a hint of spice and the complexities of bourbon cooked down into a glaze of concentrated yum… what more could you possibly want?

Makes about 30

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup bourbon, divided
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal)
1/3 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
30 chicken drumettes (about 3-4 pounds)
(Blue cheese dipping sauce recipe follows)

  1. Melt butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 3/4 cup bourbon; boil until most of liquid is absorbed, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup bourbon, ketchup, hot sauce, tomato paste and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. [the sauce splatters a bit as it simmers].
  4. Remove marinade from heat; cool to room temperature.
  5. Place chicken drumettes in a large glass baking dish (15x10x2-inch or whatever fits all of the drumettes mostly in a single layer). Pour marinade over and turn drumettes to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper [don’t skip this unless you love scrubbing]. Place cooling rack atop prepared baking sheet [I use the one that came with my sheet pan set]. Arrange drumettes on rack, spacing slightly apart. Spread any remaining marinade from dish over drumettes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake drumettes (still on cooling rack) until cooked through and brown in spots, about 45 minutes.
  8. Transfer drumettes to serving platter alongside blue cheese dipping sauce.


  • The recipe calls for drumettes (“the thick, meaty section of the chicken wing that resembles a drumstick”), but I used wing parts (the package I bought said “party wings”). Frankly I think this marinade would taste good on any piece of chicken. I wonder for all of those packages of drumettes-only, what happens to the other ‘less desirable’ part of the chicken wing?
  • These wings are good served warm or at room temperature. And reheat fairly well… I made the wings in the morning and they were refrigerated for a few hours before Dan reheated them in the oven and served.
  • I used Jim Beam. Use what you have or buy something inexpensive like JB. I don’t think a fancier bourbon will improve anything here and those are better suited for sipping straight, on the rocks, or in a mint julep.

Blue cheese dipping sauce

This dip is too good to be so dangerously simple to make. It’s good with the wings, but also on potato chips, cucumber slices, celery sticks, … a spoon.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

8 ounces blue cheese, finely crumbled (about 2 cups)
1 16-ounce container sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  1. Whisk blue cheese crumbles, sour cream, and parsley in a medium bowl until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl. Watch it disappear.
  • Note: Dipping sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.


1 Kathryn February 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Enjoyed by all. This is a great recipe – so easy to make.

2 Pam Bailey February 2, 2012 at 5:29 am

Im not real big on the super bowl this year cuz our benglas ae not in it but when I seen this reciepe, thought what the heck.. think i will just have a little get together just so I can have a reason to try something new.. thanks for the reciepe. Cant wait to try it..

3 Tina February 12, 2010 at 3:52 am

Whoa…anything with the combo of wings and bourbon is for me! Looks wonderful. I just did ribs with bourbon. Great combo.

4 Ivonne February 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm

These look amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!! I want!!!

5 Christine February 2, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Nice glaze! I take it we should come hungry on Sunday??
We’ll provide the pie.

6 Stephanie - Wasabimon February 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Oh dear god, these are perfect for the super bowl party I’m going to. Wish I had time to cook this week… maybe…………..

7 Eliana January 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

Superbowl parties are all about the wings!!!! Especially when the wings look as good as these do.

8 Melissa January 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

Every year I make bourbon balls for Christmas, I usually take some as a hostess gift whenever we attend a holiday party. That is the only thing I have ever made with bourbon. Maker’s Mark is our bourbon of choice, but this year we had a bottle of Jim Beam Black on hand, it had a great flavor too, but we are talking chocolate and bourbon, what’s not to like about that?

9 Melissa January 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

These look delicious! I’m sure I have plenty of bourbon left over from holiday baking. I need a new recipe for our Super Bowl party. We had a large gathering for the Colts/Jets playoff game (btw – I am from Indianapolis so GO COLTS!). I’m sure our Super Bowl gathering will be larger than what we had this past Sunday and we were already trying to come up with a new menu at the end of the game. We have all been stuck in a rut lately with our pitch-in menus.

10 Patricia January 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm

If you’re looking for something new, definitely give these a try. So good. Btw – what did you bake using bourbon? I’m always interested to find new place to use bourbon… :)

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