Smeared with sweet & salty homemade honey teriyaki sauce, these crispy baked chicken wings are undeniably one of the best (yet messiest) game-day foods!
I was first introduced to teriyaki sauce many years ago, when I worked at this tiny Chinese take-out place in Los Angeles. (Did you know I lived in Cali?? For just a few months though…) Anyway, “our” teriyaki chicken was one of the most popular items on the menu. Not surprising though, juicy tender chicken breasts grilled with dark thick teriyaki sauce and paired with plain white rice made absolutely delicious lunch!
Back then, I had no idea that teriyaki sauce is actually Japanese, not Chinese. Well, no matter the origins, I love me some homemade teriyaki sauce. Because I can control the flavors to my own liking! Most bottled sauces are either not sweet enough, or too harsh, or too salty, or too runny, or gloppy thick (eek, the worst!).
In my opinion, the best teriyaki sauce is well balanced sweet and salty, not gloppy thick, and not too runny either. I have yet to find the one I like in stores, so I like to make my own. It hardly takes any time and it’s practically fool-proof.
I make my teriyaki sauce with honey. Raw honey, to be specific. The reason I point that out is because I’m not sure if regular processed honey is more or less sweet. So depending on what you have, I suggest to start with a bit less honey and add more, if needed.
Mirin is one of the most essential ingredients in this sauce. It’s Japanese sweet rice wine. Despite its mild flavors, it balances the key (sweet and salty) flavors in the sauce, bringing harmony, if you will. I don’t know of any substitute, but I’m sure you can find it in the vinegar isle at any grocery store.
Onto the chicken wings…
I baked my chicken wings the same way I did my Jamaican jerk chicken wings, the method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated. Baking powder is the secret ingredient for ultra-crispy texture. Works every single time!
You can, of course, double the batch, if you’re having a company. You’ll have more than enough sauce for it anyway.
So what you’re making for your next game day gathering? These sweet and salty teriyaki chicken wings, perhaps?
As always, thank you so much for stopping by.
Honey Terriyaki Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs 900gr chicken wings, split at the joints and wingtips discarded
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For teriyaki sauce:
- 3 tablespoons regular Japanese soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Mirin sweet rice wine
- 1/3 cup 80ml raw honey
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or fresh ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the chicken wings with a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the wings with baking powder and salt until they are evenly coated. Arrange on a prepared wire rack, shaking off the excess baking powder. Bake for 40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes. Broil the wings for 5 minutes for extra crispness, before removing from oven.
- Meanwhile, prepare the teriyaki sauce. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients, except for cornstarch, and add ½ cup (120ml) water. Bring it a boil over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking it occasionally. In a small mason jar, combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water. Tightly cover and vigorously shake it until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the boiling sauce and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until desired thickness.
- Place the wings in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss. (Most likely you won’t use all the sauce. Reserve the leftovers for another use.) Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published on October 26th, 2015.