On one of my first dates with my partner, I challenged his spice tolerance when we ordered a plate of spicy wings. It was love at first spicy bite, and we washed it all down with an ice cold Coke Zero, which was a much-needed refreshing relief from the Scotch bonnet hot sauce the wings were coated in. It’s one of my fondest memories from our early days of dating, and this recipe is inspired by that unforgettable meal we shared, so naturally it’s best served alongside a chilled Coke Zero (trust me, the combination is a recipe for magic!). Most restaurant wings are fried, but I like to dry-brine these and then oven-roast them instead. They’re so golden and crispy, you’d never know the difference! Coated in my fiery and sweet Scotch bonnet hot sauce recipe, these wings are then topped with cooling minced cucumbers and coarsely chopped cilantro. To help cool things down, I like to serve the wings alongside a creamy curry aioli.
Scotch Bonnet Wings
Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and place them in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the baking powder and toss to coat.
Arrange the chicken on a cooling rack over a small baking sheet. Let stand for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
Return the wings to a bowl and add the olive oil. Toss to coat and transfer the wings to the prepared baking sheet.
Place the wings in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through.
While the wings are in the oven, make the sauce and prepare the aioli. To make the curried aioli, place all of the curried aioli ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
For the wing sauce, pour the vinegar into a skillet. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper, honey, garlic, ginger, and remaining salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer.
In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the cornstarch and water. Pour the mixture into the simmering Scotch bonnet sauce and stir until thick and glossy. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice and butter. Stir until the butter melts.
When the wings are done, take them out of the oven and transfer them to a large bowl. Pour the Scotch bonnet sauce on top and toss to coat.
Transfer the wings to a platter and top them with cucumber and cilantro. Serve immediately with the curried aioli on the side for dipping.