Honey Barbecue Wings (Jack Daniels Wings) are crispy chicken wings baked in the oven then tossed in a sweet honey barbecue sauce made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whiskey. They will leave you licking your fingers for more!
A few weeks before posting this recipe, one of my coworkers took a trip to Tennessee and brought me back a little sample bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whiskey from her tour of the distillery.
Immediately my mind went to my high school days when my friends and I were old enough to drive and ate at TGIFriday’s quite often.
One of their specialties is the Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. Not only did it taste good, we thought we were so cool having alcohol in our food.
That was my inspiration for these Honey Barbecue Wings (Jack Daniels Wings).
I promise the skin is so crispy, you won’t even miss the fryer. As long as you follow my tips, you’ll have crispy oven baked wings every time.
This small batch recipe makes 6 wings, enough to serve as dinner for two with a hearty side salad.
Or serve your own batch of wings for watching The Big Game during football season.
How do I make BBQ chicken wings crispy in the oven?
Nothing is worse than biting into flabby chicken skin. No thanks.
The key to crispy chicken wings is a technique I learned from Bon Appetit.
You place a roasting rack inside a baking pan, allowing heat to circulate underneath the chicken. This crisps up the skin on all sides, not only the top.
Plus if you’ve ever cooked wings directly on a cookie sheet, you probably know they tend to stick and is a pain to clean.
Don’t skip tossing the wings in oil either. Not only does the oil help the chicken crisp up, it ensures the wings don’t stick to the rack.
Also don’t cover the pan with foil. This traps moisture, steaming your wings instead. Steamed wings = not crispy wings.
Bake them in the oven at 400F degrees for 50-60 minutes then toss in sauce to serve.
If you sauce them before you bake, the sauce will bake into the skin. I did that once with buffalo sauce. The wings still had a spicy kick but were not saucy.
Which I guess could be a good thing if you wanted the flavor without the mess (can’t promise the same result with these – I love my wings saucy).
How do you make whisky BBQ sauce?
If I’m going to eat chicken wings, there better be lots of finger-licking sauce. No sauce on the side for me.
As you can guess by the name, this honey BBQ sauce is sweet with a bit of a kick from the cayenne. It’s optional if you don’t like heat, but it’s also the best way to balance all of that sweetness.
The sauce is easy to make and can be cooked while the wings are baking.
You can also make the sauce ahead of time.
What can you substitute for whiskey?
The whiskey does reduce and evaporate in the sauce, so you won’t get drunk from the sauce. However, the alcohol doesn’t completely disappear, so there may be cases you don’t want to use alcohol at all.
To substitute for the Jack Daniel’s honey whiskey, use 1 tablespoon olive oil.
After the sauce is finished, taste it. If you think it needs more honey, add a few teaspoons at a time until satisfied with the balance.
More Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
Looking for more easy wing recipes? Check out these oven baked wing recipes:
- 6 chicken wing pieces, thawed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey whiskey*
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a flat wire rack on top. Lightly grease with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss together the wings, oil, and a few big pinches of salt.
- Spread into a single layer on the rack. Bake 50-60 minutes or until crispy and internal temperature reaches 165F on a digital thermometer.
- While the wings are cooking, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the Jack Daniel's. Once hot, add the onion and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Whisk in the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, tomato paste, honey, and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Cook until reduced and thickened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
- Once the wings are done, toss the wings in the sauce and serve immediately.
*To make the sauce without whiskey, substitute 1 tablespoon olive oil. When you finish the sauce, taste and add more honey if necessary.
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