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Spicy apple cider bourbon grilled wings pack a flavorful punch

Betsy Haley

When I want to be the dinnertime hero, I make chicken wings. They’re my husband’s favorite food, and are the perfect way to feed a crowd of his football watching buddies.


tI like wings as well, but the Mr. and I can never agree on the fieriness factor. He’s a major spicy food fan, and prefers the wings to make him tear and sweat. I love a bit of spice, but my tongue is significantly more sensitive than his. Good thing there are lots of side dips to help cool it down.


t I was inspired by the fall season, and decided to make this batch of chicken wings with a spicy apple cider and bourbon sauce. I added habanero from my garden to appease my spice-loving husband, with a side of Hidden Valley Ranch to cool it off for me.

t Grilling is my preferred method of cooking wings. The key to perfectly grilled chicken wings is to cook them over indirect heat, then crisp them up at the last minute directly over the flame. Once they’re grilled you just toss them in your favorite sauce and enjoy!


t There are literally hundreds of sauce options when it comes to wings, but really only one perfect dipping sauce companion. Whether you choose super spicy, buffalo, Asian style or even apple cider bourbon, don’t forget the Hidden Valley Ranch on the side.


Spicy apple cider bourbon grilled wings


  • 2-3 pounds chicken wings
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  • 1 cup bourbon
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  • 1 cup apple cider
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  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
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  • 1/4 cup honey
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  • 1 habanero chile, finely minced
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  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
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  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat grill. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and grill over indirect heat for 25-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until wings begin to brown and meat is cooked through. Move wings over direct flame to crisp the skin. Cook about 2 minutes on each side.
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  3. Meanwhile, combine bourbon, apple cider, brown sugar, honey, habanero, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until liquid thickens and is reduced by half. Approximately 25 minutes.
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  5. Remove wings from the grill and toss with apple cider bourbon sauce. Serve with Hidden Valley Ranch for dipping.

t Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Hidden Valley and SheKnows.

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