smoked wings with cilantro dip

These wings are addictive. The smoked paprika, cumin, and chipotle chile powder are key to their smoky, bold flavor. Don’t be put off by the length of the ingredient list; it’s a very quick and easy recipe. Simply measure and dump, then marinate the wings for up to a day before grilling.

2½ lbs. chicken wings (about 16 wings) separated at the joint, or 32 chicken drumettes
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Greek
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cilantro Dip:
¾ cup lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup water
¼ cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the wings in a large resealable plastic bag, Stir together the remaining wing ingredients, except the oil, in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and stir until smooth. Add the seasoning mixture to the chicken wings, seal the bag, and squish the bag to coat the wings with the seasoning. Put in a shallow pan and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours. (I just tried it without marinating and there’s still a lot of flavor, so don’t worry if you can’t let it sit overnight.)

Blend all of the dip ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Heat the grill.* Remove the wings from the rub and discard any remaining seasoning mixture. Grill over medium heat, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning every 3 to 4 minutes to brown on all sides. Serve the chicken wings with the dip.

*Alternate Oven Directions: Heat oven to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat foil with nonstick spray. Arrange marinated wings over baking sheet in one layer. Bake 25 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning about every 10 minutes.