Delicious chicken wings on garden grill, close-up

Grilled Apricot-Balsamic Chicken Wings – New Year’s Eve Bash Series

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne?” (Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns)

In just a few days, all will toast with their friends and loved ones, singing this traditional song and having absolutely no idea what it means. Although the songs and traditions may not be understood, there’s not any reason for the menu to be uncertain. Next in the New Year’s Eve Bash series is Grilled Apricot-Balsamic Chicken Wings, featuring a sweet and addicting combination of apricot preserves and balsamic vinegar reduction.

What makes these wings foolproof (mostly) is the brine of white vinegar, red pepper flakes, black and white pepper, sugar, and salt. Brining the wings for 3 hours adds flavor, a hint of heat, and moisture preventing them from drying out on the grill. After brining, the wings are thoroughly seasoned and grilled on medium heat until cooked, allowing the skin to perfectly crisp. Once removed from the grill, the savory sauce of balsamic vinegar, apricot preserves, sea salt, and chili powder is drizzled over the wings. Full of flavor from the brine, seasonings, sauce, and finished with red onion and parsley, these are guaranteed to not last past midnight. So fire up the grill and usher in the New Year with song, dance, and “wing” in hand.

Serves 8

Grilled Apricot-Balsamic Chicken Wings Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

For brine

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup table salt (1/2 cup kosher salt)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper

For sauce

  • 1 3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Apricot preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

For topping

  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)

Grilled Apricot-Balsamic Chicken Wings Directions

  1. Brine: Combine vinegar and pepper flakes. It is best if this can be done the night before. Dissolve salt and sugar in water thoroughly. Add vinegar mixture and black pepper. Stir to mix. Place chicken wings in a large nonmetal container. Pour brine mixture over, making sure wings are completely covered. Brine for 3 hours. Rinse very thoroughly. Allow to air dry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Sauce: While wings are in the brine, it is time to prepare the balsamic reduction. Pour 1 3/4 cups of balsamic into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Mixture should be reduced by half within 8-10 minutes. Once balsamic has begun to thicken, stir in apricot preserves, salt, and chili powder. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken further.
  3. Grill: Remove wings from brine, rinse well, and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat grill for medium heat. Apply seasoning to wings, making sure to they are well coated. Place wings onto grill and cook for 30-40 minutes turning often. Once wings have cooked through and have nice crisping and grill marks, remove and arrange onto platter.
  4. Top and Serve: Drizzle with balsamic reduction, and top with chopped red onion and parsley.

Taken from


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