Recipe Highlight: Grandma’s Sweet and Spicy Wings

For most of us, Valentine’s Day is about flowers, chocolate and celebrating love with a special someone. I’m no different, the first thing that comes to my mind is where are we going for dinner, what am I wearing and who’s watching the kids. Yes, date nights with the hubs are hard to come by so I get a little overzealous. As excited as I get about having a night out with my hubby, Valentine’s just wouldn’t be the same without remembering all the special people in my life. I always get a little something for my girls and love to see their faces light up with a smile. I always have the girls make cards or decorate one for both sets of grandparents. It’s just a way of showing the special people in your life that they are loved and appreciated.

More often than not, the girls get sent off to my parents, who always make themselves available to babysit without hesitation. My parents always welcome the girls with open arms, not only because they love and enjoy spending time with them but also because they want my hubby and I to spend time alone without the kids. My mom’s love language is definitely acts of service. She loves doing things for us to make our lives easier. And like most mothers, she’s always preoccupied with feeding her young. She’s always wanting to cook for us. Whenever we stop by, no matter what time of day, she’ll always offer at least a half dozen edible options.

The sweet and spicy wings dish is one of her specialties and one of my favorites. Whenever I’ve asked for the recipe, she would say, “Oh, you know, a little bit of this and a little bit of that…” I finally just had to watch her make them one day. She typically deep-fries the wings but I tried to be a little more health-conscious and modified the recipe to oven-fried wings. I don’t think my version is as good as hers, but delicious nonetheless.

Hope your Valentine’s Day is sweet and spicy!

Today’s natural high is a moment of gratitude. When two of my girls were sick with a bad cold that kept them home for five days straight, my mom voluntarily brought over homemade soup and a couple of other dishes. Needless to say, I was very thankful and my girls were well fed that day.


Grandma’s Sweet and Spicy Wings Recipe

For the marinade:
2 packets of chicken drummettes* (about 11-12 drummettes in each packet)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

For the batter:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons corn starch

Cooking oil (I use canola oil.)
Non-stick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons corn syrup (preferably from the Korean market, often labeled as cooking syrup)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Korean red pepper powder (available at Korean markets)


Combine all ingredients for the marinade and mix together well, either in a large ziplock bag or in a container. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper and corn starch. Make sure all ingredients are mixed together well. Add 5-6 drummettes at a time to the bowl, coat lightly and shake off excess. Transfer the chicken drummettes to a large baking sheet coated with cooking oil about 1/4 inch high or just enough to generously coat the entire sheet. Lightly spray the surface of chicken with non-stick spray.

Bake 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through (turn over the chicken drummettes half way thru the cooking time).

Remove chicken from oven and let it rest. In the meantime, heat the olive oil, corn syrup and red pepper powder in a pan on medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, add the chicken and turn to coat several times. Transfer the chicken wings to a platter and serve immediately.

Makes about 2 dozen wings.

*I typically try to remove as much of the skin as possible from the drummettes before marinating.

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4 thoughts on “Recipe Highlight: Grandma’s Sweet and Spicy Wings

  1. Yum…pinning this! Your grandma cooks just like mine did. She could never give me any measurements and my biggest regrets was not watching her more closely when she made sushi.

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