A sweet and tangy glaze makes lemon and pepper chicken wing appetizers irresistible. The secret is in scraping the flavor off of the pans and back onto the bird.

5 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400°

Remove chicken wing tips and cut wing apart at join. Discard tips or place in freezer for stock pot. Rinse wing pieces and place on two 10 x 15-inch pans. This is not a job for your good non-stick bake ware. You want to use pans you don’t mind scraping with a spatula.

Turning wing pieces on pans, and switching pans during cooking, you want to evenly brown the wing pieces. When turning the pieces, your best bet is a spatula. You want to scrape the pans to get the browning bits from the pan to stick to the skin. It intensifies flavor, giving the glaze an extra something to cling to. Bake for approximately 1 hour.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, thyme, lemon zest and freshly ground pepper.

When wings have finished browning, drain fat from pans and place all of the wings on a single pan. Pour your glaze over the wings and coat well by turning with a spatula.

Place the chicken back in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Continue to use your spatula to turn frequently, scrape the thickening glaze from the pan with the wings with each turn.

Dust with salt to taste when you remove the wings from the oven. These are best served warm.

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