This recipe combines two wonderful things, bacon jam and barbecue sauce. This is a versatile recipe that can be used on a variety of smoked or barbecue meats. Lager beer is the common accompaniment, but try pairing these wings with a robust porter; the slightly burnt, smoky notes from the malts brings an extra level of flavor to the bacon and chipotle.
Makes 12 wings and plenty of leftover sauce
1 cup roughly chopped Applewood-smoked bacon
12 large chicken wings
2 tablespoons EVOO
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup robust porter like Founder’s porter or Sierra Nevada Porter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon pureed chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bacon in a heavy skillet and cook in the oven until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the fat in the skillet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and move skillet to the stovetop.
- Toss the chicken wings in the olive oil, arrange them on a baking sheet, and bake for one hour, or until crisp and cooked through.
- Add the onion to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful handling the skillet, it will still be hot from the oven.
- Add brown sugar to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it dissolves. Add the beer, scrapping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any brown bits. Stir in the butter and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
- After beer has reduced, add the broth to the skillet and reduce until the jam is thick, stirring occasionally and be careful not to burn it, 10 to 20 minutes.
- Add the Worcestershire, chipotle, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder to the skillet and stir to fully incorporate.
- Transfer the sauce and bacon to a blender, let cool for 8 to 10 minutes, and puree until smooth. Remove the chicken wings from the oven, place in a large bowl, and pour in enough sauce to liberally coat the chicken. Serve immediately.
Note: This recipe yields a bit of extra sauce. Leftovers sauce is great on burgers, with other grilled meats, or as a dip for bread. Or simply make a double batch of wings.