I think anyone who's spent any time on this site can probably guess I'm a little obsessed with Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Honestly my love affair with the Polynesian started before I can even remember. I know we used to zip by on the monorail and I'd kind of peer into the property and I just kind of fell in love with the look, the layout, and the theme. When I ate at 'Ohana the first time it was pretty much a done deal... I loved the place. Now I've been lucky enough to stay there twice and I'm a huge fan of the resort, the dining options, really everything about the Polynesian. While I have to say Disney's Pop Century is my home, on splurge trips or trips where I want luxury, I'm team Polynesian Village Resort all the way. The big dream is to get one of the Villas they're opening there in the Disney Vacation Club...
Now, I'm not usually a fan of chicken wings. They're just not my favorite. Pretty much the only
wings I eat are at Buffalo Wild Wings. Anywhere else I skip them. And that was kind of my feeling about these wings. I understood everybody thought they were amazing, but as a person who wasn't feeling chicken wings in general, I wasn't convinced the magic of the 'Ohana wings would capture me. I'll be honest, I sat on this recipe for almost 10 years before getting around to trying it for this site, and I think the only reason I tried it is because my husband loves chicken wings probably enough for the both of us. While I'm not a fan, he's probably one of the biggest wings lovers I've ever met. I figured at the very least he'd enjoy them. And I'll admit, not being a fan of chicken wings, I guess I was always under the impression that making them was a long and complicated process.
First off, making these couldn't be easier. Make the dry mix, toss the wings, bake, toss them in the wet sauce, serve. No frying needed. I'm a big fan of that, both because I'm trying to be healthy while training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but also because frying things is so darn messy. I'll admit, I taste tested the rub and the wet mix along the way and I thought that this had real possibilities.
Secondly... These wings may change my mind about chicken wings. Holy cow, they were spectacular! Yes, they were messy, but they were this fantastic combination of sweet and spicy without being too spicy or too sweet. I couldn't believe how moist and juicy these wings were despite what I thought was a really long (longer than it should have been anyway) cooking time. I can see why these are so popular at 'Ohana. They're incredible! My mouth is watering just thinking about them... Plus, the color on them is gorgeous. They're a rich, vibrant red color and it's quite dramatic on the plate.
I made these exactly as described below, but I don't think I reduced the sauce enough. No big deal, it just meant I had enough sauce for eight pounds of chicken wings as opposed to the four pounds I made.
This is for sure a "go out and get all the ingredients and make it tonight" recipe. Even people who're not confident making meats will find that this is pretty easy to get perfect, and it's a surefire family hit.
°o° 1 tablespoon chili powder
°o° 2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a very large bowl, combine all ingredients but the chicken for the spice mix and toss until well mixed. Add chicken to the spice mix and using your hands, toss wings so that they're well covered with spice rub. Lay chicken pieces on cookie sheets lined with foil so that they're well spaced and not overlapping. Bake until cooked through and browned, about 20-35 minutes depending on size of wings and drums. Juices will run clear when they have cooked through.
While the wings are baking, combine all ingredients for the wing sauce in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to a steady simmer and stir occasionally until the sauce has reduced to a syrup and is thickened. Remove from heat.
When chicken wings have cooked through, toss with the wing sauce in a large glass bowl and serve immediately.