Any time you ask The Young One what he wants for dinner, you’re likely to get one of two answers – Pad Thai or chicken wings. The poor kid has been Pad Thai-less for over a year now, but every now and then I indulge him and make chicken wings. I usually joint them, then dip the wing sections in butter, roll them in Parmesan cheese (the kind that comes in a green can) and then bake them in the oven. They are nommed with much enthusiasm by everyone I’ve ever fed them too (right, Darling Daughter?).
However, when I found a deal on pastured chicken wings at the farmer’s market this last weekend, I realized that if I wanted to eat them there could be no Parmesan cheese. So we decided to grill them and baste them with barbecue sauce. Now, I haven’t purchased a bottled barbecue sauce in months and months so when I got home I started pulling out all the ingredients for my Spicy Honey Barbecue Sauce recipe.
And I had no honey.
Undaunted, I began searching for barbecue sauces that were made with maple syrup, which I had an abundance of. However, most of them called for brown sugar and/or corn syrup in addition to the maple syrup. Not gonna happen. And in retrospect, it makes me wonder about how sweet those sauces must be because the one I came up with, which is an amalgam of several recipes I found online, is more than sweet enough. It was also a huge hit here at the Sushi Bar; absolutely delicious. In fact, it was received so well by both Beloved and The Young One that it will now be my “go to” sauce – and it has no “iffy” ingredients like Worcestershire sauce (which usually includes high fructose corn syrup) or liquid smoke (which usually includes MSG) as the honey barbecue sauce does.
Again, this is one of those recipes that is deceptive when you look at the macronutrient content – the recipe comes in at 34 grams of carbohydrate per serving. However, slightly less than 1/3 of the entire recipe for the barbecue sauce is called for, so I figured the actual carbohydrate count per serving is closer to 9 grams. Not too shabby at all; it definitely qualifies as “low carb.” At any rate, I’ve included a link to a printable copy of both the recipe for the grilled chicken (which The Young One sucked up in about 3 seconds) and the sauce recipe alone.
Grilled Chicken Wings with Maple Barbecue Sauce
serves 4 to 6, or The Young One
2 pounds chicken wings, not jointed
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash for chicken or barbecue dry rub
2 tablespoons lard or other cooking fat
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Melt the lard in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce and red pepper flakes; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve about 3/4 of a cup for the chicken wings, and store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a later use.
While the sauce is simmering, prepare and heat your grill, depending on type – if using charcoal, make sure you have a bed of hot coals, covered in ash, spread evenly beneath the grate. Raise the grate to between 4 and 6 inches above the coals/heat.
Rinse the chicken wings and dry then with a paper towel. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the seasoning mixture/dry rub, tossing them frequently to coat them evenly. Place then over the coals/heat and cover. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink near the bone. Baste with the barbecue sauce for the last 5 minutes.
Remove to a platter and allow the chicken to rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
Printable version for sauce alone