Chili Beer Chicken Wings



Last Friday I was able to visit the Los Angeles CBS studios. They even let me do a cooking segment. Originally slotted for 4 to 5 minutes, the loved me so much, they let me run to 6 1/2 minutes. Aren’t they great?

A few questions threw me off, “Were you in a sorority?” and “What IS craft beer?”

The first, I’m ok with dismissing, but the second left me to wonder. If you have to define Craft Beer in one sentence to someone who knows nothing about beer beyond the college Greek System drinking games, how would you do that? It seems like everyone has different definitions, some focusing on the size of the brewery, or the quality of the ingredients or the breweries funding source or even if the company is publicly trader. But what about the beer? What makes if truly craft? You could write entire books trying to answer that one question.

What is “craft beer”?

If you have a quick, one sentence answer for me, I’d love to hear it.

But in the meantime, I’m going to introduce you to a beer that was perfect for my sort of sweet, fairly spicy, beer infused chicken wings that are sort of perfect for the beginning of football season.

Dogfish Head, Festina Peche is brewed with peaches (not an extract) that feeds the yeast so the peach flavors are pervasive. Not a beer for everyone, it tends to be a bit polarizing, but an excellent example of a well done Berliner Weisse fermented with peaches. It is also an excellent beer for this recipe.

Chili Beer Chicken Wings


  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flake
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Rinse the chicken wings in cold water and dry well.
  3. Sprinkle chicken on all sides with cornstarch and rub to coat.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the beer, soy, honey, chili powder, garlic powder, red chili flake, salt, and vinegar, stirring well to combine. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for ten to twenty minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove the chicken from marinade and arrange wings on the baking sheet and bake at 425 for ten minutes.
  7. While the chicken is baking, add the remaining marinade to a pot over medium high heat, stiring frequently, reduce until thickened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Once the marinade has reduced, remove the chicken from the oven and brush with the thickened marinade, turn them over, brush with marinade on the other side.
  9. Return to the oven and allow to cook for an additional ten minutes, basting again.
  10. Allow chicken to bake until cooked through, an additional 10-15 minutes.
  11. (Note: the total cooking time for the chicken will be approximately 25-35 minutes, requiring basting every ten minutes)



43 thoughts on “Chili Beer Chicken Wings

  1. Lovely chicken!! I would define craft as being small batches, where someone is crafting a product and nurturing it from scratch. If you look at the larger breweries most of it if not all, will be done by machinery and computers…wheres the craft in that?

    1. Interesting. I thought about that, a small batch definition, but what about Rogue and Stone? They have pretty large productions but are still craft beer.

  2. I have to say . . . I’m not a big fan of the Dogfish Peche, at least not as a drinking beer. However, I could see how it would be delicious for this recipe. I love your last photo too!

    1. It isn’t for every occasion, but the peach sugars are great in wings. It’s a good example of that style of beer, but not for everyone. For me, there is a big difference between a great drinking beer and a great cooking beer and some that do both equally well.

  3. Ooh . . . forgot to mention my definition of craft beer.

    Craft beer: Beer whose makers are more focused on taste, quality ingredients, and small batches, than they are on profit.

    1. I like the taste & quality over profit idea. But the “small batches” idea makes me think. If a great brewery becomes a larger brewery, aren’t they still craft?Even if they brew the same beer in larger batches?

  4. I would like to express my love for your beer recipes! The ones I have tried are amazing and this is next on my list.

  5. Just what my chicken wings are lacking. Well we like beer with our chicken wings, but usually the beer is in a bottle and not already cooked in with the wings. Definitely trying!

  6. My love? Liquid love.

    These wings look great, and I love using anything Dogfish in recipes. Festina is def one of my favorites, although it varies from year to year. This year it was VERY peachy, and a bigger sour bite than I’d noticed in previous years.

    I’m ready for some Punkin’!

  7. Based on what I read in this recipe, with its limited ratio of beer (not inherently robust in flavor to begin with) to other heavily flavored ingredients, how does the inclusion of beer in this recipe warrant calling this a chili BEER wing? It seems that the beer’s flavor/value is going to be smothered.

    1. Beer is a natural meet tenderizer which takes place rather quickly during marination giving the wings a juicer more tender quality than if you used another liquid. That property shouldn’t be overlook in searching for the flavor, beer has practical uses other than the infusion of flavor. The Peche beer has a sweetness that lends well to the balance of the spicier ingredients but if you want to up the “beer” flavor, you can also substitute an IPA, which, once cooked reduced to a more intense beer flavor.

      1. Cool, I didn’t realize that and here I was just looking for flavor through the inclusion of beer. Thanks for the tip.

  8. I would say…Craft beer is beer that is literally “crafted” by brewers who have a passion to make the highest quality beer using the finest ingredients by using brewing techniques that have been practiced for centuries and frequently developing new techniques to keep the progression of beer moving forward; while still showing an appreciation and understanding of classic styles of beer. Haha that’s definitely a long sentence but I think it captures the important aspects of craft beer. The size of the brewery doesn’t have anything to do with being a craft brewery and all breweries use equipment to brew the beer. I think it has more to do with recipe formulation, being consistent, being able to brew established beer styles well, and even thinking of ways to add to these styles to improve upon them, constantly “pushing the envelope.” As you mentioned there are several large scale breweries that manage to do all of these. Cheers!

    1. I like that Paul! Now I just have to figure out how to say in just a few seconds 🙂 It is hard to explain it to people who don’t drink and know nothing about beer. It’s a art, I think that even non-beer drinkers are starting to see that.

  9. Pubs, dives, taverns, canteens, watering holes and holes-in-the-wall: this recipe looks perfect for them all. Once again, we’ve surveyed the lay of the beer-bar land and found 100 one-off spots where there’s a barstool any beer lover can call home.

  10. Made these this past weekend during out marthon of football on Sunday. They were great and I love that they are not fried.

  11. Hi Beeroness 😀
    I’m super impressed with all your recipes, and I’d just like to say that this is one of my all time fav recipes 🙂
    I have a movie blog (in Portuguese, as I’m from Brazil), and as I’m adventuring more and more in the kitchen, I’m going to start a cooking blog too, in Portuguese. I’d like to ask if I may use this recipe (with a link back to yours, of course), and mention the adaptations that need to be made for the Brazilian supermakets (we don’t have all the same ingredients).
    If you allow me to do so, I’ll be using more recipes like this. We love this type of food but never do it at home usually, because we can’t find all of the ingredients! So that is one of the points of view of my site..
    Anyhu, sorry to take up so much space!
    Great blog, great food, keep ’em comin’! 😀

    1. That sounds wonderful! I would love to see your adaptations. I try to cook with local ingredients as much as possible, but I know that makes it harder for people who don’t live in California! I love when people adapt the recipes using ingredient that are close to their homes.

  12. I didn’t have peach beer so used raspberry beer instead…was still amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. This looks sooooo good!!! It’s a hot sunny day in London and home time after a LONG day in the office and now all I can think about is wings and a cold beer – Yum!!!

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