Mahogany chicken wings are marinated overnight in a mixture of hoisin, plum sauce, honey, and garlic until they’re deeply flavored. And then baked until crispy and irresistible. What are you waiting for?
Of course, not all wings need to be of the “Buffalo” or “atomic” variety. These classic mahogany wings are delicious and easy to prepare. In this recipe, you’ll make a simple 24-hour marinade using plum sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and the garlic mixture also known as Peking sauce.–Christopher B. O’Hara
Do I really have to marinate the chicken wings overnight?
While you may think a long marinade is a waste of time, the traditional Chinese version of this dish does get marinated up to 48 hours for the richest flavors possible. It really does make a difference, we promise. If you’ve only got an hour, you’ll still end up with something tasty—because that sauce really is something else—just not as deeply flavored.
- 3/4 cup Chinese plum sauce
- 1/2 cup Chinese hoisin sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (or a low sodium version if preferred)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 scallions green and white parts, finely minced, plus more for garnish, if desired
- 6 garlic cloves finely minced
- 30 chicken wings small wing joint removed
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the plum sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, honey, scallions, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for basting in a separate small bowl.
- Add the chicken wings to the large bowl, stir to coat, and place, covered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C) oven.
- Place the wings in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until crisp and brown. Baste every 10 minutes during cooking, and about 5 minutes before removing the wings from the oven.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and/or scallions, if desired. Serve immediately.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
When you want something like bar food at home, there’s not a better choice than some mahogany chicken wings. This recipe resulted in close to being some of the best chicken wings I have ever eaten in my life, and quite reminiscent of those one would get on a Pu-Pu platter. All the flavors are amazing. They meld together nicely with that hint of sweetness yet plenty of garlic coming through in each bite.
I marinated my chicken wings overnight, placing them in a plastic bag that I could vacuum seal (use a food saver or similar device), which really helps the marinade get into the wings (about 18 hours overall). I made sure to prep my baking sheet with foil and a bit of cooking spray, as I knew these would be quite sticky, and I didn’t want to deal with that much clean up! And they were, lots of caramelization on the bottom of the pan! I baked the wings, turning and basting every 8-9 minutes, for 45 minutes, a few minutes longer than the recipe called for, in order to achieve that crispy skin.
These wings don’t need any dipping sauce, and they are perfect out of the oven. Paired well with a local lager.
Overnight, the sauce doesn’t penetrate the chicken wings; it just sits on the skin making them wet, which causes them to steam when first put into the oven. That said, this is a very tasty glaze that couldn’t be simpler to put together. I’d skip the marinating step next time, roast the wings for about 15 minutes so they get crisp, then start basting them.
Originally published April 18, 2004
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Remember this mahogany chicken wings recipe when you need a simple-to-make, economical, and complex-tasting chicken wing dish that will please everyone from kids to adults. The marinade goes together quickly and makes a generous amount. Once made, chicken wings mingle with the sauce for up to 24 hours, then they are baked. That’s it!
It’s sure to be something I will make over and over again. The small chicken wing pieces are just right for the little fingers of grandchildren. Try it when you want to serve great finger food and also enjoy your own party.