I just love wings, they’re interactive, a little messy, and down right delicious. This traditional bar food is very popular on most, you guessed it, bar menus but rarely seen in the home setting. This is probably because none of us want to bust out the deep fryer and fill the house with smoke and grease before our guests arrive. Also, the traditional spicy red sauce isn’t exactly new and exciting.

This easy, oven-baked recipe puts a new spin on your average game-day snack, yet, also preserves what we love most about it: that sticky, sweet, spicy, tangy, and crispy bite.

Chicken Wings

Spicy Balsamic Glazed Chicken Wings with Rosemary + Garlic

For the wings:
2 Lbs. Chicken wings (about 2 dozen wings)
Olive Oil
Smoked paprika

For the glaze:
2-3 sprigs of rosemary (whole, not chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic (smashed but not chopped)
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (cut the amount in half for less spicy)
1 Cup of good balsamic vinegar
½ Cup brown sugar
¼ Cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ Cup honey

Wings 2

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a large sheet tray by covering with foil and drizzling with olive oil.

For the glaze: Combine all of your glaze ingredients (rosemary through honey) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and let all of your dry ingredients dissolve into the liquid. Let your sauce come to a rolling simmer. After about 5 minutes, remove your rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves (I just use some tongs and transfer straight to the trash). Let your liquid mixture simmer down until a thick glaze is achieved (about 40 minutes). ** Note: I usually remove my glaze from the heat once it’s reduced by over half and the glaze will begin to thicken even more as it cools. The great news is that the hot chicken will warm the sauce through enough when they meet up in the end!

For your wings: Depending on your grocer you may have to trim the wings yourself (I did). You will know if they come looking like an actual wing and not like the pieces you get at the restaurants. All you need to do is take a set of kitchen shears and clip off the tip of the wing (freeze these and save for the next time you make chicken stock!). Now you will have a “v” shaped piece, just cut at the center-point of the “v” and you will have your wings!

Coat your wings with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a touch of smoked paprika. Spread your wings, skin side down, evenly on your sheet tray, being careful not to let any of them touch each other as they need room to crisp up. Bake at 400°F until they are browned and crispy (about 40 minutes, checking every so often to turn if needed). Remove your wings from the oven and toss with the prepared glaze. Since we eat with our eyes first, it’s a great idea to sprinkle a little chopped green herb on top … parsley, scallions, or rosemary are all great options. Enjoy!

Images via Lauren Ariza

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