If you’re going to cook your chicken wings with dry heat, prevent them from drying out by marinating them in an oil-based mixture. That’s what this mayo-marinated grilled chicken wings dish is all about.
When Alex requested that I cook chicken wings, I debated whether or not to fry them. The thought of standing in front of the stove at noon was certainly not enticing. I was aiming for a crusty texture, yes, but that could be achieved by oven-grilling the chicken too — on very high heat. And that was what I did — cooked the chicken at 400F.
But to prepare the chicken wings properly to make sure that they wouldn’t shrivel in the dry heat, when I seasoned the chicken, I added a couple of tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise too. Oil — that’s what mayonnaise is (see how to make mayonnaise) — and I needed the chicken meat to absorb the oil. I could have used milk and let the chicken wings soak it up overnight for additional moisture but that might make the meat too packed with liquid. That’s okay if I were frying the chicken but I was trying to ditch the frying part so the choice was mayonnaise.
While the chicken wings cooked, I made the sauce to glaze them with. Tomato ketchup, jam, chili sauce, onion powder and steak sauce.
When the chicken wings were done, I tossed them in a bowl with the sauce. I shook each wing to let the excess sauce drip off and arranged the wings on a platter. Then, I drizzled a little of the remaining sauce over them. Served with potato salad, the chicken wings got devoured.
Mayo-marinated Grilled Chicken Wings
- 12 chicken wings (with the little drumsticks attached)
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- ½ tablespoon ground pepper
- mixed dried herbs (I used rosemary and marjoram)
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup tomato ketchup
- ¼ cup jam (any fruit-based jam will do but the end-flavor of the sauce will naturally vary)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I like Sriracha)
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce (I like Worcestershire)
- salt and pepper to taste
- honey or sugar (optional; may be needed if the jam you use is more sour than sweet)
Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the herbs and mayonnaise. Mix well to coat the wings evenly with the seasonings, herbs and mayo. Arrange in a covered container and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F. If your oven has a "grill" setting, use it. A turbo broiler will work but please don't ask about oven toasters because I don't use them.
Place a rack over a tray (to catch the drippings); arrange the chicken wings on the rack so that they do not touch one another to ensure even cooking and browning.
Cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken wings, of course) or until cooked through and the skins are browned and crisp.
While the chicken wings cook, make the sauce by stirring together in a large mixing bowl (one that comes with a tight cover works best) the ketchup, jam, onion powder, hot sauce, steak sauce, salt, pepper and sugar or honey, if using.
Take the chicken out of the oven and throw into the mixing bowl with the sauce. Cover the bowl (if your mixing bowl doesn't come with a cover, use a plate larger than the rim of the bowl) and shake gently but thoroughly to coat the chicken wings with sauce.
Using kitchen tongs, lift each wing, shake off the excess sauce and arrange on a platter.
Spoon any leftover sauce over the chicken or serve on the side.
Serving suggestion: Pair the mayo-marinated grilled chicken wings with potato salad.