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Peach-Chili-Bourbon Wings

Serves: 4

I have a serious love affair with peaches. I was born in the peach state after all. I also cut my teeth on chili peppers. Literally. So, it's only natural that these two ingredients would come together early and often. But this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy two things I absolutely love. It's sweet, spicy, and tangy. And when it was all said and done, I couldn't help but add another of my favorite things, bourbon. I hope you enjoy.

The Chicken:

12 whole skin on chicken wings


4 cups peach juice (store bought is fine for the marinade)

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup bourbon (I use Henry McKenna for cooking)

½ red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

7 dried red chilis

8 sprigs of thyme

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken. Cover the bowl with a lid, foil, or plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.


1/2 cup of peach preserves

1 cup of peach juice (fresh is prefered)

½ cup bourbon

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 fresh red chilis

¼ cup minced red onion

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 whole sprigs of thyme

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well, until the preserves break down. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the ingredients. Stir the mixture occasionally, careful not to let the sugar in the preserves burn. Allow the mixture to thicken for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the thyme sprigs. Continue reducing the glaze over medium-low heat for about 8 more minutes, until liquid in the mixture is the texture of maple syrup and the vegetables are soft and translucent. (upper-right photo) Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. (upper-left photo) Salt the glaze to taste.

To cook the wings, I suppose any number of methods could be employed, but the three I would recommend are grilling, smoking, or baking. Regardless of the method, coat the wings in olive oil (I use a garlic/chili infused oil) and season with salt and pepper. When I cook this dish, I smoke the wings over pecan wood, basting the wings in the glaze and flipping them every 30 minutes or so until they are fall apart tender.

Alternatively, you could grill the wings over higher heat, which would also be delicious. Just remember to add the glaze just before removing the wings from the grill, not early in the cooking process, as the sugar in the glaze will burn. When grilling the wings, make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165(f).

To bake the wings, put them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, flipping the wings once. Remove the wings from the oven, place in a new, clean baking dish, and reduce the heat to 250. Baste the wings in the glaze and return them to the oven, flipping and basting every 30 minutes, for about 2 hours or until very tender.

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