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Southern Barbecue Chicken Wings

Gail Simmons' Southern Barbecue Chicken Wings
Gail Simmons' Southern Barbecue Chicken WingsNathan Congleton/TODAY
Cook Time:
45 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

I have never met a spicy chicken wing I didn't like and these are no exception. Making your own barbecue sauce is the key; this one is super tangy and bright. They are perfect with cold beer! I could eat an entire platter of them on my own any day.

Technique tip: Using a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet allows air to circulate and helps the wings get extra crispy without frying.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
  • teaspoons chili powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder



Preheat the oven to 475°F. Spray a cooling a rack with cooking spray, then set it into a 13- by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Rinse the wings under cold running water and pat dry.


In a large bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the oil. Add the wings to the spice mixture and toss to coat evenly.


Arrange the wings, skin-side up, on the prepared rack. Roast for 20 minutes (you're likely to get a bit of smoke, but the wings will not burn), then rotate the pan and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Continue roasting until the wings are cooked through and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes more.


Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the ketchup, vinegar, honey, mustard powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.


Once the wings are cooked, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, pour the barbecue sauce over them and toss well to evenly coat. Serve warm.