Monday, August 18, 2014

Cheering on Nick Evans...and his Apricot Habanero Wings!

Last week, my friend Nick of fame competed on NBC's Food Fighters. A group of us who all knew Nick when he was in DC got together to cheer him on. Each of us made one of his recipes to share. I made the brown butter oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookies that I make on the regular for my officemates. And anyone who is so lucky to snag one. We also did a beer tasting of a dozen New Belgium beers. The tasting aspect was done in fairly quick succession during commercial breaks.

And to keep things interesting, Nick wasn't the only one competing for a little dough. We set up bets on various rounds as to the outcome...and I lost horribly. But Nick was truly the big winner in our book. Despite losing the first two rounds (he was robbed!) he walked away with $70,000. He beat some of the top chefs out there and we couldn't be more proud. It was really cool to see how far he's come in doing something he truly enjoys. And not everyone can say they've had a "Little Nicky"-style devil graphic made of them.

Our amazing host, Scott, made two of the dishes that Nick competed with on the show. Interestingly enough these were the two dishes that he didn't win money on: the chorizo and sweet potato tacos and the apricot habanero wings. In tonight's post, I'm sharing that wing recipe. Just in time for football season. If you're a fan of sweet paired with a bit of spice, or orange chicken, this may be the wing for you!

Apricot Habanero Wings


  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 TB unsalted butter                  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 TB soy sauce                  
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Blue cheese
  • Scallions, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a large baking pan and place wings, skin-side up on the oiled pan. Season well with salt and pepper.

Bake wings for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn pan 180 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Keep wings skin-side up the entire time for baking.

While wings bake, add butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add grated onion and minced garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook until veggies are soft, about 4 minutes.

Remove stems and seeds from habaneros. Wear plastic gloves to avoid disaster...because these bad boys are hot! Mince habaneros very finely. If you don’t use gloves, wash your hands well immediately after handling the peppers.

Add habaneros to saucepan along with apricot filling, soy sauce, water, and paprika. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Keep sauce warm, but if it’s done way before your wings, take it off the heat and then reheat before you serve so the sauce doesn’t get too thick.

When wings are done, remove them from pan and add them to a large bowl. Toss with apricot sauce.

Serve wings immediately garnished with lots of fresh scallion greens and blue cheese dressing.

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