Grilled Chicken Wings Mole

Always on the lookout for another way to serve chicken wings, I read quite a few recipes before the “big day”.  I am of course referring to Superbowl Sunday, unquestionably the biggest day of the year for chicken wing consumption.  According to the National Chicken Councils 2012 Wing Report (really, I am not making this up), more than 1.25 billion wing portions will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend in 2012, totaling more than 100 million pounds of wings.  That’s a lot of freakin’ chicken wings!

Chipotle hot wings sounded interesting, but I decided to take that idea a step further with a nod to mole sauce.  Technically this marinade is not even close to the depth of flavor you would experience from an authentic Oaxacan mole, but it does have discernible elements of chile, cocoa, cinnamon, and honey – – mild heat, sweetness, and smokiness.  This is my “first draft” of the recipe, and it may need to be tweaked a little to get just the right balance.  If you give it a try, I welcome your suggestions to take this recipe from “tasty” to “killer”!

I used apple cider for the base of this sauce since I have a lot of it in the refrigerator, but other fruit juices could potentially be substituted.  I recommend marinating the wings overnight, if possible, or for at least 6 hours.


  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings (either whole or separated)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Lime quarters, for squeezing (optional)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all the ingredients (except the wings and limes) until well-mixed.  Place the wings and marinade in a large resealable bag; shake and squeeze the bag to coat the wings thoroughly.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.  Turn bag occasionally.

Prepare a grill for indirect cooking at 375-400F.  (If using a Big Green Egg with inverted plate setter, add a drip pan to help with clean-up.)

When coals are ready, grill the wings for 15 minutes, then flip the wings and grill for another 15 minutes.  Move them around as necessary to cook the wings evenly.  Keep flipping them until the skin is crispy and they are done  – around 45 minutes for wing portions, or around 60 minutes for whole wings (when they start getting loose at the joints, they are usually done).

Serve with a squeeze of lime and Citrus and Avocado Salad.  Enjoy!

My goodness that’s a bunch of wingless chickens wandering around…but I digress. Couple of new releases this morning. First is a guy I saw perform in a small record store to about 10 people several years ago, and I was struck by his unique sense of place and language, and his haunting, sparse style. His name was Jim White, and his new album, Where It Hits You is a barren, emotional landscape of despair, based on the end of a relationship. Sounds like a downer, but it grows on you.

Mark Lanegan, formerly of the Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age has a new album, Blues Funeral and its already being touted as the album of the year. It’s moody, provocative rock with an edge. Fans of Nick Cave and Tom Waits will dig this.


9 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken Wings Mole

  1. This sounds awesome! You could get real fancy and soak/grind up some dried peppers to add to the marinade. But really, this looks super yummy.

  2. These wings sound interesting – in a very good way. I’ve heard of mole but have never tried it. I think these wings would be the way to start…plus I’ve been looking for new wing recipes so thank you for sharing!

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