A Tasty Apricot-Ginger Glaze for Chicken & More
We recently had a lively debate in my office about chicken wings; this has absolutely nothing to do with any of our jobs or daily goals, but apparently created enough buzz that we now have a dedicated #slack channel to the topic. Opinions varied from the Buffalo-style purists who save their indulgences for football games with cold beer to the foodie group who have tossed their wings in every trendy spice or sauce found at the farmers’ market (plus a few brave vegan souls who tried to convince us the “Gardein” and “Beyond Meat” varieties are every bit as sinfully tasty as the original).
By the end of the day, I was craving wings and thinking back on some of my favorite varieties over the years. Have no doubt, a tangy, spicy Buffalo wing dipped in blue cheese dressing is at the top of my game day menu, but when the gridiron gang is working on practice drills in the middle of summer, I venture off to find lighter, fruitier flavors to fill my table.
Thanks to the influences of some friends over the years, I learned to make use of fruit and fruit juices paired with savory spices to flavor meat dishes. If you incorporate an acidic fruit like pineapple, it can be a natural tenderizer for inexpensive meats. Using berries or stone fruits that create a lot of juice is an excellent way to naturally glaze chicken without using refined sugars. With that theory in mind, I shifted gears from fried Buffalo wings to a healthy chicken recipe while driving home that day.
Like most of my favorite recipes this one also has variations, adaptations, and options to suit a variety of healthy dinner ideas and picky eaters. My first motivation for this recipe was to bake rather than fry the wings simply because I hate the smell of fried food that lingers in a kitchen – in my opinion, it’s not worth the clean up later! Plus, if you have good chicken wings, the skin bakes up nice and crispy, allowing much of the fat to drain out, so you’re left with a hearty protein-rich dinner.
How to Make Apricot-Ginger Chicken Wings
By Marie Powell
Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
For my daughter’s sake, I’ve made concessions about the actual wings and often make a small batch of boneless chicken strips with the same glaze. While I think the wings are more fun, my 11-year-old and her crowd with braces really can’t manage well these days with bone-in wings. The sauce itself can easily be adapted to ingredients on hand as well. Although I love the apricot-ginger combo, you can use peach, mango, and even apple jelly.
At this rate, you could easily have an impressive chicken wing buffet for your next gathering – or in my case, a very tasty staff lunch in the near future!
- 4 lbs. chicken wings (thawed, if frozen)
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1⁄4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 2 large sheet pans (Browse our full selection of Vollrath baking sheets)
- 2 baking racks
- Measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Basting brush (KaTom recommends: 8-inch silicone basting brush by Cuisipro)
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line two large sheet pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe rack in each pan and coat with non-stick spray, then set aside.
- Rinse chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels.
- If needed, slightly warm the jam to make a more liquid consistency for combining. In a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Remove about a third of the sauce and reserve for later.
- Place the wings into the bowl of sauce in small batches and toss to coat. Then arrange wings on the prepared racks.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, lightly brush with remaining sauce, then bake for another 15 minutes.
- Serve with spiralized vegetables, fresh melons, or another healthy side.