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The first time I heard of Chicken Wings was on the first day of my College Freshman year in Upstate NY. I was busy unpacking when my suitemates wanted to order “Wings” and asked me if I wanted ‘Mild,’ ‘Medium Hot,’ ‘Hot,’ or ‘Extra Hot.’
“Wings? Wings of what?” I was bewildered. But it was a great ice breaker.
Now, mind you, I grew up eating spicy foods, so I was a little cocky and was dismissive when they said, “You should get Medium Hot.” Yea, right. That would be an insult to my heritage, I thought. So I ordered “Hot” while trying to imagine how wings would taste. I was tempted to get “Extra Hot”, thinking, “What do Caucasians know about spicy food?” but I stayed with my initial order, trying not to be a jerk.
Well, it turned out they know a lot! My “Hot” wings turned out to be, four-alarm-GI-tract-numbing-open-the-fire-hydrant-right-into-my-mouth, HOT. And the vinegar vapor made the spicy wings a hundred times spicier. I think I drank about a gallon of soda that night while trying to keep my cool and not cry in front of them.
That’s how I met my suitemates in my Freshman year in college. Over a bucket of “Wings.” And I will never forget the original Chicken Wings taste from Upstate NY.
I tried to duplicate the recipe many times since then, but the problem was the time it takes – not to mention the greasy mess – to deep fry batches of flour-drenched wings in spicy buttery oil and finish them in hot sauce. Twice. Sadly, I never perfected it because my family has special diet needs. So, I made this gluten and dairy free wings in the Instant Pot recently, and they were very close to the ones I remembered, without the mess, and without gluten and dairy.
Instant Pot Chicken wings
Chicken Wings usually take over an hour, start to finish. To get the true flavors of the infused spicy sauce and the crispy texture, you have to fry them twice. And if you want to bake them in the oven (to avoid the mess), it takes longer than an hour from the time you marinate them to when you take them out of the oven.
But who has time for that?
Now you can make Chicken Wings by putting all the marinade ingredients in the Instant Pot,
and caramelize the outside in the broiler for one minute on each side and you get this spicy, sticky, tangy, dripping with spicy sauce wings in less than 30 minutes!
No joke. It’s that simple.
If you want more flavor, you can marinate them overnight in the fridge. But the beauty of using the Instant Pot is that it seals in the flavors while cooking, so you don’t have to wait 24 hours for the flavor to infuse.
And you can vary the spiciness by brushing more sauce on the wings before putting them in the broiler to caramelize. Of course, you can use extra spicy hot sauce or make your own!
P.S. Reuse the sauce after making Chicken Wings by adding about 2 lbs of chicken thighs, 1 tsp of sea salt, and chopped onions in “POULTRY” and you have another meal!
Here is how to use the Instant Pot to make this spicy and finger licking goooood Chicken Wings.
- 5 lbs. Chicken Wings
- 1 Cup Hot sauce of your choice (Frank's OR see my Korean hot sauce recipe below)
- ¼ C Apple Cider Vinegar (Omit if using Korean Hot Sauce Recipe below)
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (Optional if you want mild)
- 1 Tbsp Ghee for the marinade
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Sea Salt
- ½ C Hot Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Ghee
- Combine hot sauce, vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper, ghee, black pepper, sea salt in a medium and whisk. Reserve about ¼ C of the sauce for basting and coating later.
- Remove wing tips from the main drummettes, and separate the flats.
- In the liner pot of the Instant Pot, combine the chicken wings and sauce.
- Mix the wings and sauce well together.
- If you want to, you can make up to the steps above a day ahead and marinate the wings in the sauce and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to make the wings, turn on the Instant Pot.
- Put the liner pot with the chicken wings in the pot, close the lid and turn the vent valve to "Closed" position.
- Press "Manual".
- Press the "---" until the timer goes down to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, turn on the oven to "Broil" and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- When the timer goes off, use NPR and open the lid when the vent opens. This should take 10-12 more minutes after the timer goes off.
- Take out the chicken wings, and place them in a single layer on the lined cookie sheet.
- Baste the chicken wings with the reserved hot sauce.
- Broil for about one minute or until browned, without burning the skin.
- When the wings are brown, turn the pieces over to broil the other side.
- Make the extra sauce for coating.
- When the wings are browned, combine the wings and the extra sauce and coat them well.
- Serve immediately with carrots and celery sticks.
- 1 Cup of Gochujang (Amazon Affiliate Link)
- ½ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ C Honey
- ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
- Combine all the ingredients and whisk well.
- The hot sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
If you want more recipes like these, check out my Easy Paleo Instant Pot Recipes ebook. You can download it immediately and get any of the dishes on the table by dinner time.