Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings
Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings made in a slow cooker are absolutely addictive.
As I peruse old posts deciding which ones warrant a redo, I occasionally find a gem that I can’t believe has languished in the dark ages for so long. I first posted about these Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings over a decade ago…how could that be?
When football season hits, they are a party favorite but I could not in all good conscience promote them with an awful photo. So I put them on my list of photos to redo.
I like being reminded of things I LOVE and know many readers in the interim would love them too.
I’ve been making these pups for over 20 years and still love them as a great alternative to Buffalo Wings. These are so not your standard wings. While I enjoy hot wings with a cool garnish, I actually prefer these.
They have a sticky, spicy, and sweet coating made from red wine and brown sugar, the spicy comes from garlic and mustard and the sticky?
Low and slow cooking melds those flavors into a wonderful sticky coating; you’ll know since they are eaten with your fingers! Trust me, they will disappear quick.
If you really want a little bit of heat, I’m in love with Momofuko’s Chili CrunchMomofuko’s Chili Crunch. I added a little bit to my serving, preferring to let guests decide if they want that addition.
The original recipe for these chicken wings has them slow cooked in the oven. But honestly they were a bit of a pain.
Constantly watching and turning to insure that all of the wings cooked equally make them more work than I ever wanted but I suffered for the results and after this latest effort found that I don’t have to!
I’m excited that making Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings is so much easier in a slow cooker and yet the results are just as wonderful.
Like many, I’ve come to re-appreciate my slow cooker. The ones from ‘the olden days’ that might have promised to make cooking easier were also so limiting. One temperature setting meant some careful monitoring.
New units include so many settings that they work better to fit with our schedules. I contemplated changing a low and slow bake period in the oven to replicating the same results in my slow cooker, and it was a success.
I was happy to have a counter-top unit with a Low temperature setting…I wanted wings when I was finished, not a stew of sweet and sticky chicken meat!
Results were fantastic but this does require a step outside of the cooker but it’s SO worth it.
Baking the Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings in the oven does see the sauce evaporate more quickly and while I’m sure a longer period in the slow cooker might have seen that happen I didn’t want to risk overdoing the wings.
It’s a simple enough step and even with that bit of cooking outside of the slow cooker the process is so much easier than what I’ve done in years past so no complaining from me.
Especially not after I sample one. Or ten. I love these things. Super tender chicken meat is covered with a sauce that is fantastic.
Sticky? Yes. Do I still eat them with my fingers? Absolutely…they are quite simply the epitome of ‘finger lickin good.’
Simply too good to be relegated only to football season, these are also great for game nights and summer barbecues!
More of our Favorite Chicken Dishes
PIN IT! ‘Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken Wings’
Sweet, Spicy, and Sticky Chicken Wings
- 35 chicken wings tips removed (I used the bag of frozen ones in the cases at Costco)
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 large garlic cloves crushed
- ¼ cup lemon juice F
- fresh ground pepper to taste
For the Garnish:
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish optional
- Parsley chopped (optional)
- Put chicken in the bottom of a large slow cooker
- Combine all sauce ingredients and pour over chicken.
- Let stand for at least 1 hour. Be sure all wings are well coated with marinade.
- Set cooker to cook for 3-4 hours on low; Meat should be tender but the wings should not be falling apart.
- Pour off sauce and skim fat. Reduce sauce in a pan on the stovetop until thickened. Return to pot with chicken and serve.
I am a huge wing fan. These really sound delicious. I can’t wait to make them for family and friends. Thanks for the great recipe.
You’re welcome Sam. I decided to make some this past weekend for neighbors but couldn’t find any wings…so I did chicken thighs and I tried making them in an Instant Pot. Big mistake! The sauce didn’t cook down at all so had to simmer it separately and needed twice as much to cover legs. Tasted fine in the end but a test of an Instant Pot and more verification they aren’t good for everything. 🙂
Good to see these roll around again! I’ve been playing with slow cooker wings — we’ll see if something new comes of it. Or not. 🙂
These do take an extra step and get finished in the oven but it’s worth it. I used to love wings more when they were considered chicken trash food and a huge bag was $3, not $3/lb! 🙂
I prepared these tonight they didn’t come out looking like the ones shown.
I had to put them under the broiler to add color and make them crispy. My kids said they still tasted good.
They are not crispy Charleen; the sauce is thick, sticky and rich colored from the combination of red wine and brown sugar. I do wonder what happened but if the kids liked them…then that’s good!
Your sauce sounds wonderful. I would have never thought to make chicken wings in a slow cooker but it really does make a lot of sense to do so.
I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough. And this recipe is perfect for it! Set and forget, with just a bit of stovetop time at the end. Works for me — particularly for a dish that looks this good! Thanks.
I go through phases and right now I’ve been on a roll John. These were so much easier I can’t begin to tell you…maybe having it for them alone is enough for me. And well, the chili I made last night. 🙂
Oh I can’t wait to try this one. I adore sticky wings and love getting as much use out of my slow cooker as possible. Thanks for sharing, Barb.
Trust me (I know you do!), these are simply divine. Nothing close at all to regular ‘Buffalo’ hot wings and I’m so good with that!