Peppery Chicken Wings

In these peppery chicken wings, the usual intensity of classic buffalo wings is tempered and usurped by a delicious, untraditional, easy blend of beguiling spices. Even better, the wings are baked, so they’re not only healthy but there’s no standing at the stovetop getting splattered with droplets of crazy hot flying fat.

A rimmed baking sheet filled with peppery chicken wings

As chef David Tanis says of this peppery chicken wings recipe, “there’s something wonderful about a big pile of peppery chicken wings for a casual supper.” Amen to that. The intensity of the classic buffalo wing is replaced here  by a defiantly untraditional yet  beguiling blend of paprika, allspice, cayenne, and clove (yes, clove) . And if, like us, you really swoon to the magnificent multipurpose peppery-ness of these exquisite wings and simply can’t get enough of it, try the spice rub on chicken thighs—bone-in, skin-on—whether as a game-day starter or a simple weeknight supper. Originally published January 30, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Peppery Chicken Wings

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4 to 8
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Place the chicken wings in a big bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add all the other ingredients and give the chicken wings a massage to completely coat them.

Cover and refrigerate the chicken wings at least an hour or as long as overnight. (Trust us, marinating them for as long as possible makes quite the difference in terms of depth of flavor.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Place the chicken wings in a single layer in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast until nicely browned and crisp, about 1 hour. Dive into the chicken wings when they’re hot, warm, at room temperature, even cold. Just don’t forget the napkins.

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    • You can use the same seasoning and technique for chicken thighs, if you prefer, says author David Tanis. Simply use the same poundage of chicken thighs.

    • Even Spicier Peppery Chicken Wings
    • If you crave a more intense flavor, simply double the amount of ingredients for the rub—both spices and oil—and marinate for the full 12 hours.

    • Crispier Peppery Chicken Wings
    • If you like crazy crisp skin, let the wings in the oven 75 to 90 minutes.

    • Juicier Peppery Chicken Wings
    • If you like your wings tender and moist, pull the chicken out of the oven just shy of an hour.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We loved the pile of peppery chicken wings on the table! My testers—two grandsons and my husband—said this recipe is a keeper! These chicken 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 baking sheet with foil for easy clean up and the wings came out golden and crisp. 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.

    The flavors for these peppery chicken wings elevate them to a more elegant level than your sticky, messy, BBQ-sauce-covered wings. Great for a party. I took them to a holiday party of about 20 people and only about four wings were left. Of course, not everyone took 1, but the ones that did, ended up eating about 5 or 6 wings each. They raved. I marinated the wings for about 5 hours before cooking them. Absolutely delicious.


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    1. This spicing is very Levantine…Lebanese Syrian Palestinian Jordanian, maybe with a squeeze of lemon in addition!

    2. Made these for Super Bowl. Marinated for 24 hours and baked for about an hour and fifteen minutes and they came out crisp, moist, flavorful, and fall-off-the-bone delicious. I questioned whether the cooking time would dry out the wings, but I should have known better if the recipe was on David’s website. Another winner.

      1. Lovely to hear you like these unconventional wings as much as we do, Marilyn! Thank you for taking the time to let us know. Those are all qualities we adore in wings and won’t let a recipe on the site if they don’t share them!

      1. 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!

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