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Tequila lime wings are a version of drunken chicken wings in a sticky, irresistible tequila lime sauce. Whip up these margarita chicken wings as a crowd-pleasing appetizer, snack, or even an indulgent lunch. All the tips and tricks you need are here to make these wings easy and delicious!
I can’t be alone in my chicken wing craving, right? I’m not talking about healthy baked wings or frozen pre-made ones in a plastic bag. I’m talking deep fried, crispy wings in a delicious sauce that you have with a cool, preferably alcoholic drink. Are you hungry yet?
While I love a good buffalo wing, these tequila lime chicken wings are an easy to love alternative. The tequila lime sauce is sticky, sweet, and full of citrus and mild jalapeno flavor. It transforms a simple fried wing into a margarita inspired drunken chicken wing that is packed with flavor and oh so easy to devour.
Tools for Deep Frying
Before we get into the recipe I wanted to quickly share a couple of really helpful tools to make the deep fry process easier.
- A large, heavy duty pot – you can use what you have but I prefer a dutch oven for this!
- A deep fry or candy thermometer – they’re one in the same, but sooooo helpful for getting the right temperature on your oil.
- A spider strainer – This will help get finished wings out of the oil without making a mess!
Tequila Lime Wing Ingredients
There aren’t any complicated ingredients that go into making the perfect tequila lime chicken wing, just a few things to cook down into the tequila lime sauce, chicken, and oil.
- Chicken wings – you can’t have a drunken chicken wing without the chicken! You can buy a party pack of pre-cut drumette and wingette (also called flats) pieces, or you can buy them as one (cheaper) and butcher them yourself. Learn how here.
- Oil – This is a deep fried recipe, and to deep fry you must have a high heat oil. I recommend grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil.
- Tequila – Something magical happens to tequila when it’s reduced with the right additions, I like an anejo or reposado tequila for this recipe.
- Limes – 3 well juiced limes are needed for this recipe.
- Orange – The addition of fresh orange juice really help balance out the tequila and limes.
- Honey – The needed sweetness, and the stickiness of the final sauce is thanks to the honey.
- Jalapeno – 1 pepper, sliced into rounds and simmered in the sauce creates a lovely bite to the tequila lime sauce without making it really spicy. It can be left out, or the seeds removed to reduce or eliminate any spice.
- Salt – always, always!
How to Make Tequila Lime Wings
If you’ve never deep fried a wing before let me put your mind at ease, it’s very easy! No flouring or coating is needed, just a heavy duty pot and some oil. I’ll walk you through it start to finish and you’ll be whipping up fried wings like a pro in no time.
- Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange, juice, honey, salt, and sliced jalapeno in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer.
- Stir the sauce occasionally until the liquid is reduced by 2/3 and syrupy.
- Place your oil in a large, deep pot over medium high heat and bring up to 375°F. Lay out your chicken wings on a paper towel and gently pat dry.
- When your oil is up to temp place your wings carefully in the oil, fry for 8 mins, or until golden brown, crispy, and the juices run clear. The internal temperature should be 165°F.
- Remove to paper towel briefly to rid of excess oil then place in a bowl and toss with finished tequila lime sauce.
- Serve immediately!
Pro Tips for Frying Wings
- Do not overcrowd the pan of oil, this will bring down the oil temperature and lead to oily wings. Fry in batches to keep the oil temperature where it needs to be.
- If frying in batches you can keep wings hot by placing them in a low oven (200°F) on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
- Start with room temperature wings. Pull them out of the fridge 15 minutes before frying to prevent the cold chicken from reducing your oil temperature.
No, unfortunately. Wings, especially deep fried wings, pretty much peak in quality after being cooked. You can reduce the sauce ahead of time and reheat to toss with the fried wings.
If you prefer to cook your wings in an air fryer go for it, all that matters is that you end up with super crispy wings to toss in your tequila lime sauce. Here is a reference for air fryer wings if you prefer that method.
I don’t recommend it for this recipe, no.
No, these will fry and be completely cooked in the hot oil without any extra steps.
Greasy or oily wings are usually a culprit of your oil being too cold. Make sure your oil is at 375°F before you drop your wings in, and don’t overcrowd the oil. In my dutch oven I usually stick to 6-8 wings at a time.
ENjoy! Other REcipes to Try
I hope you wind up licking gooey tequila lime sauce from your fingers like we do whenever I make a batch of these drunken chicken wings! It’s a great recipe for a casual lunch or snack, or as a game day appetizer, Superbowl Sunday anyone? Here are a few more appetizer recipes for you to add to your menu, and until next time, Happy Eating!
- Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Bacon Jam Crostini
- Gooey White Queso Dip with Chorizo
- Creamy Chipotle Dip
- Mini Pizza Bites
- Maple Bacon Onion Jam
- Taco Dip Recipe with Meat
- 3/4 cup tequila* 3/4 cup
- 6 tbs lime juice 3 limes, juiced
- 4 tbs orange juice 1/2 to 1 orange, 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 medium jalapeno optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12-14 chicken wings
- 8 cups grapeseed oil canola or vegetable work too
Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, sliced jalapeno, honey, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer.
Cook sauce, stirring occasionally until reduced by 2/3 and thickened to a syrup.
Meanwhile place oil in a large, heavy bottom pot with a deep fry thermometer. Heat over medium high heat until oil reaches 375°F.
Lay wings out on a paper towel and gently pat dry. Lay out a plate with clean paper towels for after cooking as well.
When oil is up to temp, fry wings. Be careful not to overcrowd in pot, frying in batches if necessary*. Fry for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy and the juices run clear.
Remove cooked wings from the oil and set briefly on paper towels to blot excess oil then move quickly to a bowl and toss with sauce.