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Tupelo Honey Chicken Wings

These finger-licking-good wings from Asheville’s Tupelo Honey Café get a citrusy kick from orange marmalade and fresh OJ.

4 cups canola oil
20 fresh chicken wings
4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
4 cups water
½ cup tupelo honey
2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
¾ cup hot pepper sauce
1 ½ tsp. smoked jalapeño (see below)
1 tsp. unsalted butter

Heat the canola oil in a large stockpot or deep fryer over medium heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350 degrees F.

In another large pot, combine the wings, orange juice, and water and bring to a boil. Boil the wings for about 10 minutes, or until the wings are cooked through and no longer pink when pierced or to a temperature of 160 degrees F.

Transfer the wings with a slotted spoon to paper towels and pat dry. Using a slotted spoon, carefully add the wings to the oil and fry for about 10 minutes, or until crispy golden brown.

While the wings are frying, puree the honey, marmalade, hot pepper sauce and jalapeños in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, add the butter and stir until melted.

Remove the wings from the oil and drain on paper towels. Place the wings in a large bowl and add the sauce, stirring until well coated. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and serve with bleu cheese dressing.

To smoke the jalapeños, place 2 cups of hickory chips in the bottom of a 4-inch deep heavy roasting pan. Cover with water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain the water and cover the chips with foil. Place a single layer of whole jalapeños on the foil and cover the pan tightly with additional foil, and place in a pre-heated 450-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the peppers are slightly browned. Let cool and then remove the seeds and membranes. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Adapted from the Tupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Ashville’s New South Kitchen (Andrews McMeel, 2011), Elizabeth Sims and Brian Sonoskus

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