Must-devour bourbon and Coke wings for your next cookout

A chicken wing recipe is like a chili recipe: Everyone needs to have one and boast that it’s the best.

What I like about the following recipe by bestselling cookbook author Francine Bryson is that the wings aren’t breaded. Neither are they fried, a cooking technique that adds a lot of calories and causes a mess to clean up.

In the time these drumettes bake in the oven, a few simple ingredients stirred together in a pot on the stove become the tasty coating. What an easy appetizer to serve to company on a lazy Sunday afternoon or holiday like the Fourth of July. Or, if you’ve been invited over to someone else’s party or cookbook, bring some along. They’re easy to transport and will disappear in no time.


3 pounds chicken wing drumettes

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 cup Coca-Cola

¼ cup bourbon

3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Texas Pete)

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, turning to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully pour out any liquid that has accumulated and return to the oven. Bake until the chicken is a deep, golden brown and super crispy, about 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the Coke, bourbon, hot sauce, honey and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce reduces to a thick glaze, about 30 minutes.

Remove the wings from the oven and brush generously with the glaze, then return the wings to the oven and bake until sticky, about 5 minutes longer.

Our assessment: This is such a simple recipe. You can also use the sauce next time you bake a whole or cut-up chicken — it’s so good, we recommend making a double batch.

From the book: “Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen” by Francine Bryson with Ann Volkwein; 240 pages, $22. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2016.

What you get: Bryson is famous as a national pie champion, but her culinary repertoire includes appetizers, meats, side dishes, breads and rolls, all sorts of desserts and holiday baked goods. Having grown up in South Carolina, her cuisine is distinctly Southern. Recipes include Corn Fritters, Fried Okra, Beans Cooked with Ham Hocks, Buttermilk Pecan Skillet Cake and Yankee Pot Roast, Southern Style.

In her own words: “The recipes in this book are the ones that we Southerners go to when company shows up, when there’s a dinner on the ground, or when the preacher is coming to visit. I was taught how to make great food that sticks with you and meals that get your through a day of hard work.” — Francine Bryson