The Unorthodox Epicure — Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings

Confession — I adore fried chicken. And wings in particular. The crunch of the exterior followed by a juicy succulent bite. Heaven.

But there’s a better way.

Fine. Not necessarily better, but similar results with different flavor components and a heck of a lot less guilt. Pretty darn tasty too. Behold my Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings. You’ll feel a slight crunch when you bite into these baby-sized chicken pieces, and your taste buds will jump for joy with the warmth of the Ancho chile and the fresh tang of lime.

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Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings


Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings — Taste bud joy with the warmth of Ancho and fresh tang of lime.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings
There are plenty of ways to prepare wings for grilling so that you end up with a crispy (and not soft) exterior. My favorite way is also the easiest. And tastiest.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
  • 3 lbs - Chicken wings, split (remove the tips if desired)
  • ¼ cup - Vegetable oil
  • 2 TB - Ancho chile powder
  • 1 TB - Kosher salt
  • Juice and zest from one lime
  1. Rinse wings well and place on a rack-lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  2. Wings should be dry at this point, but just in case, pat with paper towels.
  3. Preheat grill to LOW setting.
  4. Place wings on grill, as far away from heat as possible. (Direct low heat is fine. You'll just have to keep a closer eye for flare-ups.)
  5. While wings are cooking, mix oil, chile powder and lime zest.
  6. After wings have cooked for about 14 minutes, brush oil/spice mixture liberally onto the meat. Turn and keep brushing until you've used all of the mixture.
  7. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. ~ You can allow a flare-up here and there, but you might have to move wings around to prevent one getting stuck in a flame. (We've rendered much of the fat at this point, which makes wings soft. We've added vegetable oil to do the final crisping over the flame.)
  8. Remove wings from grill and place on platter. Sprinkle with lime juice and salt.
  9. Serve with grilled vegetables, if desired.



  1. Adam, these look mouthwatering! I love that you made sure to still give some crispiness to the chicken even though it’s not fried. I can imagine the chile lends such body and flavor, and paired with that perfect crisp texture….ahh I need to make these pronto!!

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Beeta! If the chicken’s not crispy, it darn well better be in a casserole or soup. OK. Maybe I don’t always feel that way, but one of the great things about wings is the outer-crisp. It’s a given with fried wings, but it can also be done in a healthier excellent-tasting way.

  2. These wings will be on my table very soon. And thanks to you, I’m craving fried chicken, potatoes and chicken gravy – ohmy.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thanks to me, Lea Ann, I am too. It’s a good thing I began a ‘fried chicken summer’ blog project more than a year ago. Coming soon to a friend near you! 😉

  3. A fried chicken summer blog? And wings? I’m in trouble now!

  4. Grilled wings are fantastic! These look wonderful and I see that you got a nice crispy skin on them which is perfect. Good job.

  5. I’ve never tried to grill wings, but that about to change! Another great recipe!

    • adamjholland says:

      Oh, thank you, Tammy. As much as I like fried (and I really like fried), the grilled version is bueno in its own right.

  6. Great looking recipe. I assume that drying in refrigerator is what makes the wings crispy. Would that work with other parts or even a whole chicken as well.

    • adamjholland says:

      Absolutely. The more you can dehydrate the meat — the crispier it becomes on the grill. Thank you for your kind words.

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