My Sticky Maple Chicken Wings are the ultimate dig-in-and-get-sticky party food! You think you’re just going to have one and then all of a sudden you realise you’ve eaten half the bowl and you’re getting evil stares from the rest of the room. And you have sticky glaze all up your face. Yeh, you should make these for sure!
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In my opinion the best kind of food is the kind where you need to shower after. The egg and bacon sandwich where the yolk runs down to your elbow. Or the noodle soup that dribbles down your chin and your chest. Or the sticky chicken wings that end up all over your face and hands. These are THOSE kind of wings!
My Honey Maple Chicken Wings may be moorish sticky morsels but they really are the grown up cousin to bbq sauce laden wings which are so common. Don’t get me wrong, they’re absolutely delish too (just like my BBQ Pork Ribs) but sometimes it is nice to have the option to make something a little different and a little more refined.
Along with honey and maple syrup, my sticky chicken wing glaze also includes fresh thyme and wholegrain mustard. The freshness of the thyme and the spicyness of the mustard both help to cut through the sweetness of the honey and maple.
Make Honey Maple Chicken Wings into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Ingredients for Honey Maple Wings
There are three parts to a chicken wing. The ‘drumette’ (looks like a mini drumstick), the ‘wingette’ (2 thin bones connected at each end) and the ‘wing tip’ (no meat, kind of gross). I am only interested in the first two of these. The wing tip would ideally not be attached when bought and certainly shouldn’t be served.
I do like to separate the drumette from the wingette. I think that this makes the wings easier to cook evenly and it certainly makes them easier to eat. You can leave them attached however, it is entirely up to you.
I really would prescribe using fresh thyme in this recipe over dried. In recipes such as this, dried thyme doesn’t cook enough and can become overpowering with an irritating texture. Fresh oregano would work as an alternative and dried oregano would be my third choice.
Maple syrup can be pricey. Thats one reason why I don’t purely use maple syrup in this recipe. The honey also provides a little extra viscosity but the maple flavour does still come through.
Make sure that you buy ‘pure maple syrup’ and not ‘maple flavoured syrup’ if at all possible. Spend a little more and use it sparingly. Also, Aldi sell the good stuff quite cheaply.
I call for runny honey in my recipe but if you only have set honey, just melt it a little before adding to the marinade/glaze.
This is an instance where I would use a fairly basic honey and nothing to expensive or fancy. Whilst the honey flavour does come though in the wing glaze, you aren’t going to be able to pick out notes of Scottish heather.
The easiest change with this recipe is to use thighs. Bone-in and skin-on if you prefer or boned and skinned fillets for a bone-free option. You could also use chicken breast but I wouldn’t pre-cook the chicken, just marinade and cook from raw.
Other meats would also work. Pork loin chops or belly pork would be my initial choice followed by turkey escalopes, king prawns and skirt steak.
I have written the recipe to include cooking the wings, leaving them in the marinade overnight and then cooking them in the glaze. You can skip the marinating process and just add the glaze straight to the hot wings and continue to bake. The bake time will be a little shorter.
Altering the ratio of honey to maple syrup, adding a little more thyme or little less mustard or leaving out the paprika will work perfectly well. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your preference. Just try not to reduce the overall sugar content or you will lose the stickiness.
Make it Vegetarian
Obviously chicken wings are not suitable for vegetarians. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use this glaze on other things. Fried tofu would be fab. Quorn pieces would work too.
Treating cauliflower florets like chicken wings is an ongoing trend. You can treat the florets almost exactly as per my recipe. Cook them through first, add the glaze and continue to bake. There won’t be any meat juices to drain so skip that step.
Make it Vegan
You will need to follow the ideas given above to make honey maple glazed vegetarian snacks. As vegans also don’t eat honey, the honey should be substituted for more maple or another syrup like brown rice syrup.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe does not contain any egg, dairy, nuts or gluten (see note as follows).
Gluten Free: I have stated that this recipe is gluten free but attention should be paid to the mustard used as sometimes non-dried mustard can contain gluten. How annoying!
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Sticky Maple Chicken Wings
I find that using a decent pair of heavy duty scissors is a much quicker and easier way of separating wings. You can cut straight through the joint and you don’t even need to dirty a chopping board!
Make sure that your roasting tin is well lined, especially when roasting the wings with the glaze. It is proper sticky and a git to get off a tin, no matter how fresh the non-stick is.
If you don’t want to use a sandwich bag to marinate the wings overnight, I would recommend investing in some of these lidded pyrex dishes which are perfect for mixing and storing.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
I’ve written the recipe so that the maple wings are prepared in two stages. The are first cooked plain, left to marinade then glazed. I’ve prescribed a minimum of 4 hours marinading and suggested that overnight is best.
You could leave the wings marinading for an extra day. Or you could freeze the wings in the marinade. By the time they have thawed, the marinating would be complete.
Leftover Honey Maple Wings
Trust me. There will be none left. Or any that are left will be eaten right out of the fridge. Actually they are great to eat cold.
But if you do need to, thrown them in the freezer until you need a little chicken-y pick me up.
Honey Maple Wings Tips
Keep the meat juice which you drain off after the first cooking. Add it to your next gravy, creamy pasta sauce or soup.
Be careful when touching the finished wings. The glaze will be hotter than the sun so give them chance to cool a little before serving.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Sticky Maple Chicken Wings (Gluten Free)
- 700 g Chicken Wings – no wing tips
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 3 tbsp Runny Honey
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
- Oil Spray
- Preheat the oven to 180c or equivalent. Line a large roasting tin.
- Using sharp scissors, cut 700g Chicken Wings down the joint to create individual wings. (If required)
- Add the cut wings to the lined tray. Liberally spray with the Oil Spray and sprinkle 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes over the wings. Use your hands to mix the wings so they are totally covered in the oil and salt.
- Cook the wings for 20 minutes giving them a shake/turning the tray occasionally so they cook evenly.
- Drain off the cooking liquor and leave the wings to cool a little. Discard or save any liquor for another purpose (gravy!).
- Meanwhile make the glaze. Prepare 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves and add to a lidded container or large sandwich bag which is big enough to hold all the wings.
- Add 3 tbsp Runny Honey, 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, 1 tsp Paprika and 2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard to the bag or container.
- Add the cooled wings and mix until the marinate thoroughly coats the wings. Leave the wings in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- About an hour before wanting to serve, preheat the oven to 200c or equivalent.
- Take the wings out of the fridge and add back to a smaller lined roasting pan. Once the oven is hot, add the wings and leave for 15 minutes.
- Turn the wings over and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve with plenty of kitchen roll for sticky fingers!