Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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3 lbs – Chicken wings, split (remove the tips if desired)
¼ cup – Vegetable oil
2 TB – Ancho chile powder*
1 TB – Kosher salt
Juice and zest from one lime

Rinse wings well and place on a rack-lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Wings should be dry at this point, but just in case, pat with paper towels.
Preheat grill to LOW setting.
Place wings on grill, as far away from heat as possible. (Direct low heat is fine. You’ll just have to keep a closer eye for flare-ups.)
While wings are cooking, mix oil, chile powder and lime zest.
After wings have cooked for about 14 minutes, brush oil/spice mixture liberally onto the meat. Turn and keep brushing until you’ve used all of the mixture.
Cook for another 4-5 minutes. ~ You can allow a flare-up here and there, but you might have to move wings around to prevent one getting stuck in a flame. (We’ve rendered much of the fat at this point, which makes wings soft. We’ve added vegetable oil to do the final crisping over the flame.)
Remove wings from grill and place on platter. Sprinkle with lime juice and salt.
Serve with grilled vegetables, if desired.


*How to make ancho chile powder: grind dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder until a fine powder.