Candy Apple Chicken Wings

08CandyAppleWingsbfLOKFC used to have these really good sweet and spicy chicken wings that were one of my favorite take out food treats.

Then they stopped making ’em.

I was thinking about those wings the other day, and it got me to wondering if anyone else was missing those spicy little bits of wing goodness.

They were, and I found several promising recipes. This is my take on one of them.

•1(18 oz) jar apple jelly
•1 cup Jolly Rancher Cinnamon Fire candies (a touch more than a 7 oz bag)
•3 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp Tabasco Chipotle
•1 tbsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
•1 tbsp Earl’s
OR – use 3 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce

•3-1/2 lb wings (I used drumettes)
•1 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•2 tsp sea salt
•2 tsp canola oil

02IngredientsPotAlt2bfLOA note on the cinnamon candy: The original recipe I found suggested using Red Hots, which were amazingly hard to find around about here – I even went in to a Wal Mart (!) looking for them – so the first time I tried this recipe, I used these kinda chewy cinnamon candies. They worked fine, and tasted great – but whatever the base candy was made out of just leached flavor and color into the sauce, and I was left will all these semi-transparent non-melting tubes in the pot. I cannot help but think that that is not a good thing, so I went looking for hard-candy alternatives. The Jolly Rancher did the trick, for me.

03CandyAppleSaucebfLOOn to the sauce:
Add the hard candy, apple jelly, butter, and hot sauce(s) to a large pot set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring every now and then, until the jelly and the candy has melted and you have a thick, smooth sauce. This will take a while. Those candies are tough!

The good thing is, you don’t have to stand over the pot every minute, so you can get on with the chicken wings.

05ChickenBakedbfLOToss the chicken with the salts, pepper, and canola oil in a large bowl or zipper bag so that each piece is more or less uniformly seasoned and oiled.

Arrange the chicken pieces on a rack set into a foil-lined baking pan (coat the rack with cooking spray) and pop into a pre-heated 400º oven for 45 minutes.

Nice chicken wings – and no deep frying.

06ChickenSaucebfLOIn truth, the chicken is pretty darned tasty just as it is – lightly seasoned and nicely browned – but we have one more simple little step to go; ermmm, two, if you’re making these a bit ahead of time.

Remove the wings from the baking rack and toss them in that big pan of candy apple sauce to coat well.

You are now good to go.

Serve these tempting and tasty little beauties with lots of napkins.

07CandyAppleChickenbfLOOr – if you are making these ahead of time for a gathering, reheat the wings in a 200º oven until hot. It’s all good.

By the way, all thanks to luvabul at for the original sauce recipe.

In truth, these weren’t really all that like the KFC wings (well, they were sweet and spicy) – but then these also weren’t breaded and deep fried and who knows what all else, so I guess I can handle the slight differences.

06bAppleButterWingsPlatebfLOAlthough… I did come across a couple of other options in my search, and party season is upon us…

Update: good as these wings are, check out apple butter chicken wings, made more better by using home made, sugar free apple butter and my own sherry peppers sauce in place of apple jelly and melted cinnamon candies. These may now be our faves.

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3 Responses to Candy Apple Chicken Wings

  1. Angie says:

    Hello, I thought I was the only one searching for this recipe for KFC’s Sweet & Spicy wing sauce. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in my search. These were not available at all the KFC locations. I’m not sure where you got yours from but I discovered them while my husband was working in Louisiana. They were fabulous!!!! We live in Alabama (Roll Tide) but never saw them on the KFC menu and when I would ask about them they always told me that they had never heard of them. I have also been experimenting to try and find something remotely close and although I’m still tweaking the recipe, I’m actually using the stuff that you make candied apples with, located in the produce section of most grocery stores for like around $1.00 per box, a little butter and tabasco sauce. I’ve found that the candied apple stuff is seasonal, so the store doesn’t carry it year round. I don’t really have any measurements to give you but just wanted to pass this information along to you.

  2. Lee says:

    I love these babies! I use the recipe with red hots and it’s fantastic. A thicker sauce for baked wings and a tad thinner for fried wings.

  3. Will says:

    The KFC in Youngstown Ohio used to sell these back in the day. People don’t believe me when I tell them. So happy you put the recipe up. Can’t wait to try them.

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