Foiled-Packed Sweet & Spicy Wings

by Susan on August 13, 2017

I’ve been obsessed with grilling using foil packets this summer, and our family is pretty much addicted to chicken wings. Of course I had to try a recipe that incorporated the two, and I really wanted to branch out beyond traditional buffalo. I found this one in the Food Network magazine and thought I’d give it a go.

If you’re a fan of crispy wings, look elsewhere. They’re not going to crisp up wrapped in foil, but wings coated with glaze aren’t really going to be good candidates for crisping anyway (the coating will scorch and blacken). What these wings have going for them, though, is that they’re ridiculously easy to make and absolutely loaded with flavor. They aren’t too spicy if you like things tamer, but definitely have a little kick. Just don’t skimp on the lime juice, which really adds the perfect finishing pop of flavor.

I never stock brown sugar in my pantry, and have to say this is one recipe that coconut/palm sugar not only makes a healthier alternative but also a tastier one. It has an almost tropical note that pairs perfectly with recipes like this one. My husband honestly couldn’t get enough of the sauce! There was a lot of finger-licking going on…

As written these wings are gluten and dairy-free. The original recipe called for vegetable oil, but I always recommend olive oil as a healthier substitute. Melted coconut oil would actually work well too, and would further compliment the mix of flavors.

Foiled-Packed Sweet & Spicy Wings
adapted from Food Network

1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup packed coconut sugar
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds air-chilled chicken wings (about 24), split at the joint, wingtips removed and discarded**
1/4 cup olive or melted coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Whisk together the chili powder, sugar, chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl to make a dry spice rub. Place the wings in a large bowl, toss with the oil, and sprinkle with the dry spice rub. Toss the wings to evenly coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

Prepare a grill for high heat.

Tear off four 18-by-18-inch sheets of heavy duty non-stick aluminum foil. Remove the wings from the bowl, making sure to leave any excess liquid behind. Divide the wings among the foil pieces, centering them on each piece in a single layer. Sprinkle the wings with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring two opposite ends of the foil together and fold twice to seal, then fold in the other sides to create leak-proof packets.

Grill over high heat, turning once, until the wings are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Carefully open the packets (hot steam will escape). Scatter the cilantro over the tops and serve with the lime wedges.

**I will confess that I used wingettes as they offer a nice shortcut!

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