Kentucky Chicken Wings

Anyone can make good chicken wings but it takes more time, and just a few secret ideas, to make them great. Additionally, most people fry wings but we have found that we get a deeper flavor by baking them. You might want to ask what makes these wings Kentucky wings? Well, Bourbon of course!

Secrets and techniques? Everything starts with a great brine (a step many recipes foolishly pass up), baking powder to make them extra crispy, a basting of butter and spices to add another dimension of flavor, a great bourbon glaze, and finally a delicious blue cheese dipping sauce. That’s a lot of steps because you want to brine for at least 8 hours, and the brine take 2 1/2 hours to cool before the wings are added. You also have to mix the blue cheese cheese dipping sauce and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and you have to slow simmer the bourbon sauce for the glaze on the stove for least two hours. In other words, you need to start the day before you want to serve these tasty wings.

The blue cheese dressing or dipping sauce recipes, and the bourbon barbeque sauce or glaze recipes, are on this website. You will have plenty of both left over for other purposes after eating the wings.

Make these crispy and juicy wings and everyone will want to know your secrets, but 90% of them will never take the time to do them right. Such is life.


  • Servings: ”8″
  • Difficulty: ”Hard”</p>
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3 Pounds of Wings


3 Cups Water

1/4 Cup Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Buttermilk

1 Tablespoon of Bourbon

4 Tablespoons Honey

1 Bay Leaf

2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

2 Teaspoons Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Teaspoon Dry Rosemary

1 Tablespoon Dry Oregano

1 Tablespoon Dry Parsley

1 Tablespoon Dry Basil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

6 Tablespoons Baking Powder

BUTTER and Sprinkling Spices

1 Unsalted Stick Melted Butter

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon Dry Italian Seasoning (Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage)

1/2 Teaspoon Fine Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Fine Black Pepper




  1. Mix brine ingredients together in a pan large enough to hold the chicken wings.
  2. Bring brine to a boil and make sure all salt has dissolved.
  3. Allow the brine to cool for 2 1/2 hours in the refrigerator BEFORE adding the wings.
  4. Place the wings in the brine, then cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or more.
  5. Remove the wings from the brine and dispose of the brine.
  6. Rinse the wings under cold water, dry them with paper towels and allow them to come near room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat your oven for baking to 400 degrees.
  8. Put the baking powder in a place bag, add the wings a few at a time, and coat the with the baking powder.
  9. Place the wings on a rack above a baking pan.
  10. Melt the butter and in a separate bowl combine the sprinkling spices.
  11. Bake wings for 15 minutes and then flip them over.
  12. Bake for another 15 minutes, remove them from the oven, baste them with the butter, and on sprinkle on the spices. 
  13. Bake another 15 minutes and check for proper crispiness. If they are not as crispy as you like, return them to the oven for a few minutes until you are happy with the crispiness. (Wings are fully cooked inside at 165 degrees if you want to check them with an instant read thermometer.)
  14. Put the bourbon glaze in a bowl, add the cooked wings, and toss them.
  15. Return the wings to the cooking rack with the glaze on them and bake for another 5 minutes.
  16. Serve them on a plate with the blue cheese dipping sauce in a bowl and cut celery on the side.

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