Fiery Apple Wings

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr (includes cooling and brining times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Chicken Wings:

4 cups apple cider

1/3 cup kosher salt  

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed   

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns  

2 teaspoons whole juniper berries  

1 teaspoon red chile flakes  

6 cloves garlic, smashed  

2 bay leaves 

2 cinnamon sticks  

2 sprigs rosemary 


1 1/2 pounds split chicken wings (without tips)

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic 

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano  

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Apple Hot Sauce:

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/2 cup maple syrup 

1/4 cup apple cider 

2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot 

Ranch dressing, for serving 

Carrots sticks, for serving 

Celery sticks, for serving 


  1. For the chicken wings: Combine the apple cider, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, juniper berries, chile flakes, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and rosemary in a medium saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved and the liquid is hot but not boiling, 3 to 4 minutes. Put 2 heaping cups of ice in a large bowl and pour the brine over. Whisk until cooled completely. Add the chicken wings, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  2. Combine the granulated garlic, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.  
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then top with a wire cooling rack. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels.
  4. Remove the wings from the brine and transfer them to the baking sheet with paper towels. Discard the brine. Dry the wings well with the paper towels. Coat the dried wings with the oil and rub with the seasoning mix.  
  5. Lay the chicken wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through the cooking time.  
  6. For the apple hot sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan pan over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, apple cider and hot sauce. Toss the wings in enough sauce to coat them generously. Serve the wings immediately with the remaining apple hot sauce and ranch dressing, carrot sticks and celery sticks.  
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