Blackberry Chicken Wings

If you’ve read this you know I’m a huge football fanatic…or not. :-) On Sunday I decided to make wings for the game. And by game, I actually mean DVR’d Food Network shows and Downton Abbey. But I’m sure these would be great for snacking during the actual game too. Before this past weekend I feared the chicken wing. Not eating them, mind you, but making them myself at home. Specifically the slicing through bones and joints and all that. Last week, while I was waiting for Crazy #1 at school, I was browsing through the stack of food magazines that live on the passenger seat and I happened to see this:

PicMonkey CollageCartoon-ish pictures make everything look not-so-scary, don’t you agree? And now I can say from experience, chicken wings are not scary at all.

DSC_2594These wings include lots of things that just make life better. Maple syrup. Frank’s hot sauce. Jam. A whole stick of butter. They are sweet and sticky and obviously have a kick, because otherwise they wouldn’t be wings, right? They take some time to crisp up in the oven but the actual work involved in these is ridiculously simple.

First preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then line a sheet pan with tinfoil and set a wire rack (like the kind you use to cool baked goods) on top of the pan. Depending on how many wings you have, and how big they are, you might need two of these.

DSC_2613Then break down your chicken wings. Just find the joints and slice down through them with a really sharp knife. You’re keeping the drummette and the wingette (the two larger pieces) and discarding the tips. I’m sure a more frugal person could find some use for those tips, but I just tossed ‘em. I found it easier to do this from the back, although keep in mind this was my first time so there may be some chicken wing rule I’m not aware of that says that’s illegal or something. I’m sorry, I know this looks scary and kinda grody, but by the time you’re done you’ll feel like a chicken wing expert. And Super Woman.

DSC_2625Put the wings in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Not too much! The key to crispy skins in the oven is using the oil sparingly.

DSC_2629Next sprinkle on some kosher salt.

DSC_2639And some fresh ground pepper. Why yes, I was wearing a teal shirt that day. However did you know? :-)

DSC_2640Toss the wings to coat them lightly with oil, salt, and pepper. Then spread them out in a single layer on top of the wire rack. If you don’t have a wire rack I think a broiler pan would work out ok…the idea is to let the heat circulate all around the wings. I learned this from watching Alton Brown by the way…sometimes I wonder how his head doesn’t explode from all those facts he has crammed in there.

Then place the wings in a 400 degree oven and let them get golden and crispy. This takes about 45-50 minutes. I rotated my pan halfway through.

DSC_2648As soon as you slide the wings in the oven, make the sauce. It starts with a stick of butter. That’s the first clue these are going to be good.

DSC_2665Now add the maple syrup. In case you haven’t noticed, I like to add maple syrup to a lot of things. This, and the fact that I’m not even 5′ tall, sometimes make me wonder if I’m part elf. But then I remember I don’t put maple syrup on spaghetti and I can’t stand pointy shoes.

DSC_2674Now add the cayenne.

DSC_2683And add the ginger, and oh yeah add that blackberry jam! It doesn’t really matter what order you add it all in…just get it all in the pot.

DSC_2688Worcestershire. Love this stuff.

DSC_2693And Franks. No chicken wing should be without Frank’s.

Now just let the sauce come to a simmer over medium heat. The butter will melt, the jam breaks down, and you should whisk it every once in awhile to get it all combined. Turn it down to low once the butter melts, and just let it simmer as long as your wings are in the oven.

DSC_2713When your wings are golden, and their skins are crispy, take them out of the oven.

DSC_2719Put the wings in a big bowl and pour the sauce over them. I only had one 4-ish lb. package of wings, so I only used half the sauce. This makes enough sauce to coat at least double.

DSC_2736Now these go back in the oven again for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce starts to caramelize. I don’t see why you couldn’t put them back on the same wire rack, but the first one I used was a little grody. So I used a new rack, but the same foil lined pan. And this time I sprayed the rack with a little non-stick spray.

DSC_2758Now grab a bunch of friends, some napkins, and dig in.

Blackberry Chicken Wings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 8lbs. of Chicken Wings
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Stick (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Blackberry Jam
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire
  • ¼ cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce (like Frank’s…not Tabasco)
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with tinfoil. Place a wire rack on top of each baking sheet (like the kind you would use to cool baked goods).
  2. Separate the wings at the joints using a sharp knife. Place drummettes and wingettes in a large bowl. Discard wing tips or save for another use.
  3. Drizzle wings with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
  4. Arrange wings on wire rack in a single layer, skin side up, and place in a preheated 400 degree oven. Set the time for 45-50 minutes, and rotate them halfway through baking.
  5. As soon as you put the wings in the oven make the sauce. Place butter, maple syrup, blackberry jam, ginger, cayenne, worcestershire, and hot sauce in a small saucepan.
  6. Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and whisk often, until the butter melts. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer, whisking occasionally, until the wings are cooked through.
  7. When the wings have cooked through, about 45-50 minutes, remove them from the oven but leave it on. Place the cooked wings in a large clean bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat.
  8. Spray the wire racks with non-stick cooking spray. Put the wings back on the racks and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until sauce starts to caramelize.









  1. juliaroastedroot says:

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade wings for ages and have only had them at restaurants. I LOVE the idea of using blackberry jam for sweetening up the wings and heating them up with Franks. I have all the ingredients (except for the wings) at home, so I’m anxious to make these soon!!

  2. Ann…these look amazing! Though I love hot and spicy wings…I really do prefer a bit of sweetness in the mix. And adding the flavor of blackberries is so unique! I’ve yet to make my own wings….but this recipe I simply have to try! Nice tutorial and beautiful photos, too! : )

  3. I’ve never eaten wings before. I’m super sensitive to anything hot and spicy – and mild isn’t always mild. This is the first time I looked at a recipe for wings and went, “Hmmm, that looks good!” Blackberry jam is such an interesting addition. Instead of simply not using the hot sauce and cayenne pepper, could I add more Worcestershire? A1 maybe?? I’m not good at amending recipes. Not that yours requires any amending! If I wasn’t just a wuss when it came to spice, I know I’d be in love with these right off the bat. :D

  4. Found this recipe yesterday and made them last night. AWESOME!!!

  5. Your wings look fabulous Ann! Love the addition of blackberries. So many people lately have mentioned Downtown Abbey. I’m going to have to see what all the hype is about!

  6. Smitten Foodie says:

    I saw this recipe in the magazine too! I’ve always been super intimidated by chicken wings and cutting up whole chickens, never are as beautiful as it should be. Think these will be perfect for Super Bowl.

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