Grilled Chicken Wings With Harissa and Honey

Nothing is more evocative of summer evenings than the odor of grilled food wafting around the yard. Even if you don’t have a yard, but only an apartment balcony. Chicken is much easier on the environment than other meats, so I recommend these quickly-cooked, spicy/sweet chicken wings for an unfussy barbecued meal.

As a young wife with few resources, I would sometimes balance a cheap electric grill on a window ledge and precariously grill chicken on it. The seductive odors had my neighbor’s kids ringing the doorbell, asking if they could eat dinner with us. They often did.

Although we still haven’t graduated to a powerful American outdoor grill – you know, the ones that look like a landed space ship –  we often do light up some charcoal in a hibachi set up on the balcony, and grill us up some wings. The neighbors’ kids are all grown up, but we have grandchildren now, who like to gnaw on the crisp, highly flavored barbecued chicken just like they did.

The basting sauce has only three ingredients: garlicky, herby, spicy, harissa sauce, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Simple, but with big, big flavors.

As the wings are cooking, have someone else fry potatoes or cook rice. Or have a hearty potato salad chilling in the fridge. With a leafy tossed salad, you have a fine, summery dinner.

Consider serving 2-3 wings as a hot appetizer before a larger menu. The wings reheat well, set in a hot oven for 5 minutes if they’re at room temperature. If chilled from being stored in the fridge, heat for 10 minutes.

Grilled Chicken Wings With Harissa and Honey

Serves 4-6

2 kg. – 4 lb. clean organic chicken wings
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup harissa hot sauce (available in Middle Eastern shops and in many supermarkets)

Blend the vinegar, honey and harissa in a medium bowl.
Grill the wings over low heat for 15 minutes, then turn them over with tongs and grill another 15 minutes.
Baste the wings with the sauce. Turn them over and baste them again.
Keep grilling, turning them and basting each side at least once more.
Take them off the heat when you’re happy with their color and crispness.

Don’t forget the cold beer or lemonade.

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