Sweet & Spicy Coca-Cola Chicken Wings

There are few dishes more crowd-pleasing than a giant platter of piping hot crispy chicken wings. Whether sticky and sweet or spicy and saucy, they're just one of those things that make a whole lot of people, a whole lot of happy.

And if you come across a recipe that's sweet AND spicy, like these easy Coca-Cola Chicken Wings? TOTAL WIN!

Homemade chicken wings are one of my favorite party foods to serve at any time of year. They're perfect for game-day parties, obviously, but I also love them for birthday parties and casual weekend get-togethers. The apartment building we live in even served them up at last year's annual Christmas tree decorating party, and people were so excited!

I think the trick to serving chicken wings for a crowd is to bake them. Fried wings are amazing, but babysitting a fryer is no fun when you'd rather hang with your guests.

Baked wings can be baked until crunchy in advance (even a few days!), and then tossed with a sauce (which can also be made in advance!) and reheated for just a few minutes before serving.

So easy because the oven does all the work, while you can work on other dishes, or just relax and enjoy time with your friends and family.

The thing that makes these so good is the AMAZING homemade Coca-Cola BBQ sauce. It’s got the perfect mix of sweetness and spice with a hint of Coca-Cola flavor that everyone loves. I'm actually going to recommend that you double or maybe even triple it, because it's not just good on wings. I love this with any kind of chicken (baked, grilled, fried!), over meatballs (BBQ meatballs!), and even with shrimp.

Make a big batch, divide into containers and pop it into the freezer. You'll thank me later.

And don't think that the amazingness means it's hard. This sauce is crazy easy. A few ingredients in a pot for about 5-10 minutes of simmering, and boom! All done!

This is my new go-to homemade chicken wing recipe. I hope it becomes yours, too!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Coca-Cola. All recipes and opinions are strictly my own. You can also visit the Coca-Cola Pinterest Page for more entertaining tips, party inspiration, and ideas. Thank you for supporting great brands that make it possible for me to create fresh new content for you!

Sweet and Spicy Coca-Cola Chicken Wings
This makes about 5-6 appetizer-sized servings

For the wings

4 lbs chicken wings, drummettes and flats separated
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

For the sauce
1 1/2 cups Coca-Cola
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup tomato paste
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup red pepper hot sauce (like cayenne or tabasco pepper sauce)
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare the wings:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Top 2 baking sheets with a metal rack. (You can use the same kind you use to cool cakes.) Line a third baking sheet with foil.

Remove chicken wings from package and pat very dry with a paper towel. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and generously season with kosher salt and black pepper, then arrange on the prepared baking sheets, allowing at least 1 inch between each piece of chicken on all sides.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until crisp and golden brown. (You can turn the broiler on for the last 3-5 minutes to give them even more color, if desired.)

Make the sauce

Combine Coca-Cola, brown sugar, tomato paste, and garlic in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Whisk in hot sauce, paprika, and salt. Let simmer 5 -10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt or hot sauce, as desired.

Once the chicken is ready, remove from oven and use tongs to roll each piece in the sauce, then place on the prepared foil-lined baking sheet. Lower oven to 350, and bake 7 minutes to set glaze. Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side for dipping.

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