Peppery Chicken Wings

Peppery Chicken Wings Recipe

There’s something wonderful about a big pile of peppery chicken wings for a casual supper. Remove the wing tips and save them for stock, so what you’re serving is the meatier part of the wing. You can use the same seasoning and technique for chicken thighs, if you prefer.–David Tanis

LC Magnificent Multipurpose Peppery-ness Note

The intensity of the classic buffalo wing is tempered here, usurped by a warming–though not incinerating–blend of spices. Truth be told, we rather prefer the defiantly untraditional, beguiling blend of paprika, allspice, cayenne, and clove to the incendiary heat of most classic wings. That said, the recipe is eminently adaptable. If you crave a more intense flavor, double the amount of ingredients for the rub—both spices and oil—and marinate for the full 12 hours. And if you like crisp skin, leave them in a little longer. If you like your wings tender and moist, pull the chicken out of the oven just shy of an hour. And if, like us, you really swoon to this spice rub, try it on thighs and breasts–bone-in, skin-on chicken, that is–either as a game-day conversation starter or a simple weeknight supper.

Peppery Chicken Wings Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4 to 8


  • 5 pounds chicken wings, wing tips removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1. Place the chicken wings in a big bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add all the other ingredients and give the wings a massage. Refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as overnight. (Trust us, marinating them for as long as possible makes quite the difference.)
  • 2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 3. Place the wings in a single layer in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until nicely browned and crisp, about 1 hour. If you like your wings super crisp, you can leave them in the oven an additional 15 to 30 minutes. Dive into the wings when they’re hot, warm, at room temperature, even cold. And don’t forget the napkins.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Jan 30, 2012

We loved the pile of Peppery Chicken Wings on the table! My testers — two grandsons and my husband — said this is a keeper! These wings were fast to prepare, moist, spicy and delicious. I served bowls of the traditional blue cheese dip (and lots of paper napkins), but they were also perfect without the dipping. I lined my sheet pan with foil for easy clean up, and the wings came out golden and crispy. It seemed hard to get the olive oil and spice paste all over the chicken pieces, so next time I’ll increase the recipe for the rub by half. I refrigerated my chicken overnight. This is the perfect hors d’oeuvre for the holiday buffet or that fast dinner when the shopping isn’t completed.

Testers Choice
Eydie Desser

Jan 30, 2012

The flavors used for these Peppery Chicken Wings elevate them to a more elegant level than your sticky, messy, BBQ-sauce-covered wings. Great for a party. Five pounds of chicken parts yielded about 23 wings, or 46 pieces, once separated. I took them to a holiday party of about 20 people, and about four wings were left. Of course, not everyone took one, but the ones that did, ended up eating about five or six wings each. They raved. I marinated the wings for about five hours before cooking them. Absolutely delicious.

Testers Choice
Carol Anne Grady

Jan 30, 2012

These wings are crunchy, savory and easy to put together. As with any recipe of this kind, the longer you can let them marinate the better, but even after one hour, you have tasty, tender chicken with a crispy skin to die for, though you miss out on the more subtle spice flavors. I used a mix of drums and thighs to great effect — keep an eye on the chicken towards the end of the cooking time, as smaller wings may be ready sooner.

Testers Choice
Karen Depp

Jan 30, 2012

This is a different version of the “hot chicken wings” craze that dominates kitchens during football season. I was intrigued by the combination of spices used. I used the option for chicken thighs this time, but will use wings next time. I think wings would actually turn out better, because they would get crunchy and crisp more than thighs did. Next time I will decrease the amount of allspice, because it seemed to me to overtake the other spices. We use allspice a lot here in Cajun-land, and it never seems to be quite as dominant as in this recipe.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Jan 30, 2012

Five pounds of wings sounds like a lot to make, but these went very quickly. The spice paste was very easy to make, and even though the wings only marinated in it for just over an hour, they were very flavorful. The five pounds served four very generously, with not too much left over for later. I think with veggies and /or a salad this would do six or eight quite nicely. The only minor complaint I have is that they don’t really get very crispy, and I prefer a really crispy wing. That aside, this is a keeper recipe, and we didn’t even need the beer.

  1. can we call these “wings au poivre”? sounds classy, huh?

    • Rachel Kaufman says:

      Absolutely, why not? Garrison Keillor (of “Lake Wobegon” & “Prairie Home Companion” fame) recently told a caller that to introduce people to Minnesotan food, change all the “casseroles” to “cassoulets” and throw some parsley on top. I bet it works!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Why not?! We love highfalutin’ names for typically lowfalutin’ foods. Swell idea, We Are Never Full.

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