Chicken wings are usually reserved–reduced?–to game-watching fare or casual potluck party sign-up lists. Maybe because sometimes they’re purchased pre-seasoned? In bulk? Here, they are full of seasoning and I do recommend that you make enough to serve them in bulk, but don’t just make them the three times a year that someone you know unfurls a picnic blanket or vinyl tablecloth. The fact that this is grazing food makes it perfect for anytime you, yourself, can eat for hours.

I often make this recipe for myself, when I’m by myself. If you follow me on Twitter and I’m like “ah, friday. work done. watching sitcoms that are about to be cancelled for the rest of the evening!” then know that I’m eating these wings, and more than one baking sheet’s worth for sure. One painful first serving in the kitchen when I should have let them cool. One serving as I settle into the couch, before the first commercial break. One serving which I think might be my last, and I’ll lick my fingers with a flourish that says finit! Which reminds me how good this sauce is, so I’ll have a few more. And then a few last ones because I was left with the jammy sweetness of the sauce and not enough heat–these last 3 I’ll put extra hot sauce on. Full! So full. Just me and Christina Applegate now. She’s funnier than people give her credit for. Tired. Guess what happens when I’m in the kitchen putting the rest away?

Suicidal

Jammy, 5-Spice Wings

*YS note: For a mild version, use 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (or none at all), instead of the 2 tsp of cayenne listed below.

And a tip: This is a high heat to cook at but the wings will be done quickly, perfectly the skin will be brown but juicy and there’s never any burning–but the spices do produce some smoke. Maybe open your windows or do whatever you do to deal with that when you’re making steak inside etc.

2 tbs 5-spice powder
2 tsp ground cayenne*
1 tsp kosher salt
2 dozen wings, cut, tips discarded (48 pieces)
2/3 c hoisin sauce
1/2 c good blueberry or strawberry jam

Combine ground 5-spice, ground cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add wings and toss to coat them well. Place in fridge for 2 hours.

Meanwhile bring hoisin sauce and jam to a boil in a small saucepan, then simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 500F degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and place wire racks on top then place wings on wire rack–a tight fit is fine but do in batches if necessary. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then toss in hoisin and jam sauce and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

This story and recipe appear in RED, Issue 001 of Le Sauce Magazine.