Grilled Thai Chicken Wings

Grilled Thai Chicken Wings

 The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Marinate: 6 hrs
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 12 wings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
581 Calories
30g Fat
11g Carbs
61g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 581
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 826mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 61g
Calcium 53mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sweet and perfectly spicy, Thai chicken wings are a delicious alternative to barbecue or Buffalo wings. This recipe uses a simple Thai-inspired marinade that's filled with flavor and makes 12 chicken wings, though you can double it if needed. The grilled wings are perfect for a snack, game day party, or as a side dish for a cookout.

The marinade relies on the sweet chili sauce. Most well-stocked grocery stores have at least one option in the Asian food section. You can also find it in an international market along with the soy and fish sauces, chili paste, and makrut leaf. Add the chili paste to taste: Without it, the marinade is sweet, and with the full two tablespoons, it's sweet and spicy, but not too hot.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings (about 6 whole wings)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (grated; or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 scallions (sliced; greens reserved for garnish)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili paste (to taste)
  • Optional: 1 makrut lime leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the chicken wings: Place the wing on a cutting board, so the inside is facing you. Stretch out the wing and make a cut between the wingette and the wingtip, and another cut at the joint between the drumette and the wingette. Discard the wingtips (or reserve them to make stock).

    Cutting a Whole Chicken Wing Into Pieces
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. Mix well.

    Mixing the Marinade for Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Place the wings in a plastic zipper bag. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for basting and pour the remainder over the wings. Seal the bag and mix the contents well. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

    Marinating Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Preheat the grill for medium heat (about 350 F). Remove the wings from the bag.

    Marinated Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  6. Place the wings on the grill. Baste liberally with the reserved marinade. Cook for 20 minutes, turn and coat with marinade again. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Discard any remaining marinade.

    Grilling and Basting Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  7. Garnish with chopped scallion greens. Serve and enjoy!

    Thai Chicken Wings
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 

Tips

  • This is a sticky sauce. Clean up any drips right away, soak the dishes, have a wet cloth around to wipe your fingers, and provide napkins when eating them.
  • Each brand of sweet chili sauce has a slightly different flavor, and some are spicier than others. After mixing the marinade, taste it and add more spice if you prefer.
  • The sweet chili sauce that's leftover in the bottle is an excellent dipper for these wings. Pick up an extra bottle to ensure you have enough. You can make it spicier by mixing in chili paste or red pepper flakes to taste.
  • The makrut leaf is a double-leaf that you can break apart into two pieces. It's not intended to be eaten in this recipe (though they are edible when cooked properly). Instead, it acts like a bay leaf (a viable substitute), adding a subtle flavor to the marinade.

Recipe Variations

  • You can bake these wings in the oven as well. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top (or spray the foil with cooking spray). Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, flip and baste, then bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. They're even better when broiled for the last 5 minutes.
  • Add a few 3-inch pieces of fresh lemongrass to the marinade to build on the Thai flavors.
  • The wings are also excellent when served with blue cheese dressing. For a fun twist, try goat cheese dressing. To make it, combine 4 ounces of goat cheese, 4 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon each of mayonnaise and white wine vinegar. Add a pinch of both salt and pepper, and some dried parsley. Mix until smooth and refrigerate until it's time to serve.

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