Indian Spiced Chicken Wings

When it comes to food and holidays, are you a traditionalist or do you thrive on serving the unexpected?

(Have I been watching too many movie marathons? I feel that question was worded in the style of Carrie Bradshaw…)

Personally, I like to walk the line between the two worlds. Take Thanksgiving – of course I’ll serve turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and something green, but they won’t necessarily be prepared in “traditional” ways. Then maybe I’ll throw in a curveball of an appetizer.

Indian Spiced Chicken Wings served

You have to keep them on their toes, but you can’t leave out the classics.

That’s where spices come in.

herbs for making chicken wings


Sunday is the Super Bowl, which of course means chicken wings!

But there is no reason they have to be standard buffalo wings. For me especially, I feel it’s pointless to attempt making buffalo wings. My grandparents live in Buffalo and I’ve had the original. They can’t be beat. So let’s just move on.


Where the idea of making Indian spiced chicken wings popped into my head, I can’t tell you. But I’m glad it did.

Why? Because this often means a yogurt based marinade, which makes for the most tender and juicy chicken possible.

herbs in jar

These wings are baked, simply because frying things when you’re entertaining can get… tedious. Especially when there’s meat involved and you’re worried about not cooking it through, or over-cooking it, or how to keep the previous batches warm and crispy while making the current one. Nope. Not this year.

In fact, I’m not cooking at all for the Super Bowl this year – we’re going out! The 49ers are in the Super Bowl and the city is ablaze with excitement.

(And considering how things went after the Giants swept the World Series – it might literally be ablaze on Sunday.)


So if you’re entertaining for the Super Bowl, I hope these wings will make your life a little easier, a lot more delicious, and plenty unexpected for your guests.


Indian Spiced Chicken Wings



  • 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed (save them for stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, including stems
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • generous dash hot sauce (I used sriracha)
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients except chicken wings in a blender and puree. Place chicken in a plastic bag with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pour chicken wings into a colander and rinse off the marinade. Pat them dry with paper towels and split between two oiled rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake until browned and crisp (rotating pans halfway through), 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the wings. If you find that the wings are cooked through but not browned to your liking, place them under a low broiler for a minute or two.
  3. Combine the finishing ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken wings and toss to combine. Devour immediately.
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