Chipotle Molé Wings

Chipotle Molé Wings

Olé for molé!

While we never really get tired of original Buffalo-style wings, sometimes it’s fun to break out of the routine and try something new, exciting and deliciously different.  In this recipe, chicken wings get a south-of-the-border makeover; first, marinated with a rub of aromatic & zesty spices, sherry vinegar and garlic, then, after baking, a quick toss with a sweet and savory molé-style sauce made with smoky chipotle chile peppers and deep, dark chocolate.  While the sauce is not a really an authentic molé, it’s MUCH easier and faster to make, and this classic combination of flavors creates a spicy and mouthwatering coating that tastes nothing short of terrific.

Most of the work can be done in advance, so you won’t have to rush around on game day. The chicken can marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking and the sauce can be a day (even two or three) in advance.  You’ll only need about half of the sauce to toss with the amount of chicken we have suggested, so there will be plenty on hand for a second batch or to serve on the side for dipping.  Leftover sauce makes the perfect condiment for any meal or snack that can benefit from a little rich, smoky flavor.

Chipotle Molé Wings


Wings marinating in spice mixture

Marinating in spice mixture

  • 2-2 1/2 lb chicken wings, split (fresh is better than frozen!)
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 1/2 Tbsps sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp smoked olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Chipotle Molé Sauce (recipe below)
  • Thinly sliced green onion, green part only, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


Remove the tips of the wings with a pair of kitchen shears. Reserve for making stock if desired. Separate the wings at the joint with the shears or a sharp knife.

Toast the coriander, cumin and cinnamon in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Grind the toasted spices finely in a spice or coffee grinder. Combine the ground toasted spices, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne and garlic cloves with the smoked olive oil and sherry vinegar in a non-reactive bowl large enough to fit the wings.

Add the wings and toss gently to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2-8 hours (or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the wings on a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on wing size and desired level of doneness.

Remove the wings from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two.  While still hot, toss the cooked wings in a bowl with enough of the Chipotle Molé Sauce to coat them completely, about 3/4 cup.  Serve hot.

Chipotle Molé Sauce

Wings, ready for the oven

Ready to pop into the oven




Heat the lard or oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the chipotle, adobo sauce, chocolate, vinegar, tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and simmer over medium-low heat until slightly reduced and thickened, 10 – 15 minutes. Puree with a handheld immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until very smooth.  Taste, adding more salt & pepper to your preference.

Makes about 1-3/4 cup sauce.  Refrigerate unused sauce for up to two weeks.  Use liberally on anything that needs a little sweet & spicy lift.

Chipotle Molé Wings with chipotle chiles

Chipotle Molé Wings with dried chipotle chiles


Curly Divider


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