Prep Time (hours)
Cook Time (minutes)
Ingredients for Marinade
1/2 cup of hot sauce ( Cholula used here )
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 cup of canola oil
40 pieces of chicken wing halves ~ 4 lb – 4.5 lb
Ingredients List Blue Cheese Dressing
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 tsp of fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/2 tsp of coarse-ground black pepper
3/4 cup of coarsely crumbled blue cheese
Ingredients List Glaze
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of peach preserves
4 fresh habanero peppers, quartered ( wear surgical-type gloves to protect your hands )
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of bourbon (I use Knob Creek)
1 cup of wood chips, soaked for at least 1 hour
Celery ribs, however many you like, cut into 2 or 3 pieces and then crosswise into 3 to 4-inch sticks
Marinate the wings
1 Whisk together all marinade ingredients (except the chicken) in a large glass mixing bowl.
2 Rinse the wings under cold, running water and dry with paper towels. Add the wings to the marinade and stir to thoroughly coat all the wings.
3 Cover and refrigerate. The wings should marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours, whatever timing is most convenient. Turn the wings occasionally to ensure they are well-marinated.
Blue cheese dressing
1 The dressing can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon rind, and pepper in a bowl.
2 Stir in blue cheese until well mixed. If the mixture is too thick, stir in buttermilk, a small amount at a time, until you like the consistency. Cover and store in the refrigerator until serving.
Prepare the grill
1 Preheat the grill for indirect cooking at 400 to 500°F. If you are using wood chips, get them smoking. For gas grills, I find it easiest to use a quick smoking envelope.
Prepare the glaze
1 While the grill is heating and smoke is starting, prepare the glaze.
2 In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the preserves, brown sugar and habanero, stirring constantly until the preserves have melted.
3 Stir in the bourbon and keep warm over very low heat until you are ready to baste. Keep an eye on the pot because the sugars can easily caramelize or burn.
Grill the wings
1 Put the wings on the grill in the indirect cooking zone. Discard the marinade. Cook the wings with the lid closed and the grill at 400 to 500°F.
2 Turn the wings every 5 minutes until the skin is golden brown and starting to turn crisp about 20 to 25 minutes. Baste the wings and continue grilling for about 10 more minutes, basting lightly every 2 minutes.
3 If the basted wings are not caramelizing over indirect heat, move to direct heat for no more than the final 2 minutes. Serve the wings with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
Note: As written, I would describe these wings as “medium” hot. You can prepare them with varying degrees of spiciness, depending on the hot sauce you use in the marinade and the number of habaneros in the glaze. Whether or not you discard the seeds and ribs from the peppers will also have a big influence on the heat.