Brent Hughes's Spiced Chicken Wings 17.000

Susan Biddle for The Washington Post

Oct 24, 2012

Howard University alum and part-time caterer Brent Hughes knows how to work a grill, and has manned a couple at the school’s homecoming for the past three years. For this recipe, he likes to use jumbo chicken wings (available at Restaurant Depot and special-ordered through your neighborhood butcher), which are extra-meaty. If you use regular chicken wings, adjust the cooking time as needed.

You’ll have some of the rub mixture left over, which can be used on oven-roasted chicken. To grill the wings, you’ll need to soak 1 cup of mesquite wood chips in apple juice for 1 hour.

Make Ahead: The rubbed chicken wings need to rest in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Servings: 17

Yield: Makes about 5 pounds

  • Freshly squeezed juice from 1 or 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 5 pounds chicken wings, preferably jumbo wings (see headnote)


Combine the lemon juice, ground coriander, garlic powder, ground cumin, chili and onion powders, dried parsley, mustard and thyme, black and cayenne peppers, salt, paprika, cloves and allspice in a bowl; stir to form a uniform paste. The yield is about 2 cups.

Rinse the wings and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Use 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the paste to completely coat the wings; place in large resealable plastic food storage bags or a large bowl; cover or seal and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to 200 to 250 degrees; for a two-burner grill, use one burner and leave the other unlit; for three or more burners, leave the center burners unlit. Drain the wood chips and enclose in a foil packet, poking several large holes to allow smoke to escape. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one-half of the grill, sprinkling the drained wood chips over the briquettes. Lightly grease the grill grate.

Arrange the chicken wings on the direct-heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, checking them every 5 to 7 minutes and turning them as needed to ensure they are evenly cooked. As the wings approach doneness, transfer them to the indirect-heat side of the grill to make sure they don’t get overly browned.

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Recipe Source

From Hughes, of Washington.

Tested by Jeff Donald.

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