Sweet and Spicy Wings

It is sports mania on roids in my home these days. I should clarify that sports mania is usually always in motion because that’s how I’ve raised my boys, but these days it’s in overdrive. Between March Madness, 24-7 discussion about the NBA Draft, Little League and coaching, I feel like the center of the universe pivots from ESPN, the baseball field and sports radio. There is a serious lack of balance.

Sweet and Spicy Wings | Real Food by Dad

Thankfully there is always food (like these sweet and spicy wings) to bring balance to chaos. Wings are one of Cole’s favorites. I haven’t quite got the buy-in from my oldest boy, but that’s what the onion rings (and burger, obviously not seen here) are for. When it comes to the little dude, I just make sure his are boneless, which usually amounts to chicken fingers slathered in sauce (#winglover in training).

Sweet and Spicy Wings - Real Food by Dad

These wings though? Get your beverage of choice ready. They are a little sweet and spicy, sometimes extra spicy if you take it with added bites of the Thai Chilies. See those tiny little peppers? Naomi grew up on them and has slowly been building up my heat tolerance with those little green sticks of dynamite.

Admittedly, I’m a tad jealous that she enjoys them like Pop Rocks, while I mindfully make sure mine are chopped small and judiciously sprinkled for a more controlled approach. Nevermind the photos that are rained with them. Can you guess who got to them for before they were shot?

Naomi . . .  and Cole (??). Forever my best critic, he said it needed some more “spicy”.

Apparently, if he doesn’t get drafted by the NBA or MLB, he’s going to one up his parents and become a chef.

Yield: Serves 8

Sweet and Spicy Wings

Sweet and Spicy Wings


  • • 3 lbs. chicken wings (about 24), tips discarded and wings split
  • • 3 lbs. drumettes
  • • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • • Kosher salt
  • • Freshly ground pepper
  • • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (your preferred)
  • • 2 Chili Garlic Sauce (not to be mixed up with Sambal Oelek that is spicier)
  • • 2 tablespoon Sriracha
  • • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • • 2 teaspoons sweet rice vinegar (like Mirin)
  • • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • • Optional garnishings: onion rings, Thai chilies, chives


  1. Preparation: Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add wings, drumettes and canola oil; toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place wings and drumettes, skin side up on prepared baking sheets. Transfer to oven and roast them about 45 minutes, or until they are cooked through and crisp.
  3. In the meantime, in another large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients except the garnish.
  4. Transfer the wings and drumettes to sauce bowl; toss to coat. Garnish with onion rings, Thai chilies and chives. Serve immediately.


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