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Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Chicken Wings

by Brad Prose
plate of chipotle and roasted garlic wings

There are so many great rubs and seasonings out there, waiting for us to grab off of the shelves. High Caliber from Reload Rub & Seasoning is one of those, hitting you with a delicious mix of chipotle, garlic, mustard, and more. These chipotle and roasted garlic chicken wings are smoky, savory, with just the right amount of heat without overwhelming you. Light up your smoker and let’s get going!

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Crispy skin?

Like most BBQ recipes, you’ll have the best results if you plan ahead. Give yourself a few hours and prepare to dry brine. Dry brining is the process of seasoning meat ahead of time, for the goal of flavor penetration, moisture reduction, and of course a dry skin on the outside. Water is the enemy here, so we want to minimize that right off the bat:

  • Take out your wings a few hours ahead of time. Pat them dry
  • Season them, but don’t add oil. Just the seasoning
  • Put them on a wire rack (uncovered) in the fridge.

Many people have different methods and tricks to get crispy skin on smoked chicken wings. Some chefs swear by baking powder, but I don’t care for the texture. Rushing at the last minute? A little neutral oil rubbed on the wings before you add seasoning will work, just make sure you don’t use any binders with water (mustard).

These chipotle and roasted garlic chicken wings will smoke at 300°F the whole way through. This lower heat allows us to roast the garlic and render the chicken skin, allowing for a crisp exterior. Smoke flavors from the wood are not as strong in this recipe, due to the slightly higher heat.

high caliber seasoning with chipotle and roasted garlic chicken wings

Keep it simple with sauce.

I’m sure you know how amazing a roasted chicken smells, coming right out of the oven. Those massive rotisserie birds from your favorite warehouse chain, spinning and dripping with delicious, crispy fats probably trigger some memories as well. My goal with these wings was to bring that drool-worthy flavor and smell to your mouth, right off the smoker. A kick of the chipotle definitely helps.

The High Caliber seasoning blend might be important for these wings, but the sauce shines on the plate. Inspired by the simple blend these wings are taken to the next level with a savory combination of roasted garlic and chipotles. Let’s discuss.

Roasting the garlic while the wings are smoking
Roasting the garlic while cooking the wings.

We’re taking a shortcut by roasting the garlic right alongside the wings. The process could be considered garlic confit which is slow-cooked garlic in fat. The roasted garlic and oil simmer together for 45 minutes at 300°F, which is just enough time for a savory, mild punch. The oil is magic too, and we’ll use that to create the simple sauce.

Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Sauce

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tsp salt
  • squeeze of lime

Once the garlic is roasted for 45 minutes, allow it to cool and pop it in a small blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. This makes a delicious oil-based sauce that goes on everything. Today the wings, but seriously it goes on just about any vegetable or protein you can think of. Even rice.

Finish off the wings to desired temperature, I recommend at least 170-180°F so the meat is tender enough to easily come off the bone. The skin will remain crispy, as you’re adding an oil-based sauce that should be still warm from the smoker. Grab a pile of napkins and dig in my friends.

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garlic chipotle chicken wings

Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Chicken Wings

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 150
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Chicken Wings

Description

These chipotle and roasted garlic chicken wings are smoky, savory, with just the right amount of heat without overwhelming you.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lb chicken wings
  • 3 tbsp High Caliber seasoning
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tsp salt
  • squeeze of lime
  • chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pat the wings dry and season generously. (Recommended) Place the wings, uncovered, on a wire rack in the fridge for a couple of hours, or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat your smoker or grill for indirect cooking, 300°F.
  3. Place the wings on the smoker.
  4. Combine the oil and garlic cloves into a small, heat-safe container such as a foil pan. Make sure the garlic is mostly submerged in the oil (use a small pan). Cover with foil, and place in the smoker for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic after the time has spent, and cool briefly. Combine the rest of the ingredients and blend together in a small blender or food processor. Taste and adjust.
  6. Remove the wings from the smoker when the internal temperate is at least 170°F.
  7. Toss the wings with some of the sauce, top with cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

Notes

The leftover sauce keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This can be made ahead of time if needed, but make sure it’s warm when tossing with the wings.

Keywords: chicken wings, garlic, chipotle, chiles, smoking, chicken

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