Baked ghost chili chicken wings

If the header didn’t widen your eyes, then probably this will – the ghost chilli is one of the world’s hottest chilli pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco and is rated at more than 1 million Scoville heat units.

I put that pepper on my chicken wings! Well, it was in its pickled form, but still way hotter than anything I have ever had in my twenty-seven measly years on this planet.

This is the stuff nightmares are made of. One bite of this pepper and you think the pain is never going to stop. For that half an hour or so, you know and realise nothing except for intense heat and the urge to kill yourself for succumbing to such stupidity.

Anyway, I went ahead and made some chicken wings with them, and all I did was pray and get a glass of milk ready for my first bite. Surprisingly, it was nowhere near the levels of heat I had imagined.

I thought my mouth would be the site of a nuclear test missile or a dormant volcano erupting in Iceland. Funnily, they were so good that I had another three pieces. And here’s the recipe for how I did it.

P.S. If you don’t have ghost chilli pickle or fresh ones, then ask a friend from Northeast India to help out!DSC_0297-02

Ingredients for 11-12 pieces of chicken wings:

  • 11-12 chicken wings – the wing tips and drumsticks separated (I used the drumsticks for this recipe as well. Keep the tips aside to make a chicken stock if you like)
  • A jar of pickled ghost pepper – we will need the oil from the pickle and not more than two peppers (if using fresh peppers, I suggest using just one along with some olive oil)
  • Salt and Pepper as needed
  • Cornflour – one-fourth cup
  • Peri Peri powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger-garlic powder – 1 tablespoon

    DSC_0279 (2)
    The wings and the drumstick after being marinated overnight.

Ingredients for the sweet-sticky sauce:

  • Three tablespoons of dark soy sauce (light is fine as well)
  • Four tablespoons of honey
  • Two tablespoons of brown sugar (less may be required depending on the sugar)
  • Red chilli flakes – a pinch
  • Garlic cloves – 3-4 minced
  • Springs onions – 1 tablespoon chopped

Separate the drumsticks and the wing tips from the wings. Use the drums in the recipe but keep the tips aside. You can use them to make chicken stock. Wash and clean the wings. Tap them dry with napkins.

In a large bowl, add the wings, corn flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Using rubber gloves, uncap the ghost chilli pickle jar and add about two tablespoons of the oil along with two pieces of the pepper.

Mix everything together using rubber gloves or tongs. You DO NOT want to get them on your hands!

Cover the bowl with a cling film or foil paper and set in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The smell of the chillies will start to take over the kitchen once you unwrap the bowl the next morning. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Set a tray on the lowermost shelf of your oven. This will help collect all the oil from the wings as they bake. We will need it to make the sweet-sticky sauce later.

Using tongs, place the wings on a wire rack and on the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken turns brown.

Then set the oven to the highest temperature and place the wings on the uppermost shelf for another 4-5 minutes. This will help make them crispy. Keep a close watch or they may turn black.

DSC_0281 (2)
The chicken after being browned and ready to toss in the sticky sauce.


Meanwhile, we can start working on the sauce.

In a saucepan, add the soy sauce and honey. Bring it up to temperature. As soon as some bubble start to appear on the sides, add the brown sugar, garlic and spring onion.

Add a tablespoon of the oil collected from the wings. This will help the sauce from thickening once it cools. Swirl to combine everything.

Using a spoon check the consistency of the sauce. If it sticks to the spoon easily, then we are done. Check the balance before adding to the wings. It may need more sugar and a squeeze of lemon depending on your taste.

Take the wings out and add them to a large bowl. Pour the sticky sauce over and toss to combine or use tongs again. Garnish with some freshly chopped coriander and serve with a side of some salad.

Trust me, these wings are not that spicy at all. It actually is just the perfect amount of heat for these winter days. I sniffed and slurped my way to finishing three pieces and some salad.

What a lucnh it was! Let me know how yours go. Happy cooking!

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