Hot Wing Summer | An Ode to National Wing Day

Today, July 29, is "National Chicken Wing Day" declared by Seems fitting. For today's grilling national holiday, that I CLEARLY forgot to mark on my calendar, I wanted to talk about Hot Wing Summer. That's right, none of this Hot Girl Summer stuff. We are talking about HOT WING SUMMER, at least for today. It got me thinking, I have to step up my hot wings. This means taking a leap AWAY from the bottle of hot sauce and trying something...different.

Hot wings are part of the grillionaire's repertoire. When I first started grilling, I said chicken is chicken. I'm just going to make hot wings several variations- hot sauce, hot spice rub, hot oil- you get the picture. I didn't think that I could venture out. 

While reading articles, blog posts, and watching YouTube videos I discovered the SECRET to keeping all the flavor on the wings and not letting it drip down when you pick them up (the secret is to add a half-cup of full fat mayo. Add this to your grill recipe and thank me later). But I didn't have much variation and stayed on brand for "HOT"wings. 

Then, as I normally do, I read another article that challenged my normal worldview of barbecue. The message- make wings with a chimichurri sauce. I laughed. Chimchurri is one of those sauces that are multipurpose, like an aioli. They make everything taste better.  It is easy to make in a food processor and is a GREAT finisher for flank steak...or just steak in general. Then I kept reading (like you should).

The author described that chimichurri is a parsley-rich "vinegrette" with garlic and olive oil. Usually chunky and just makes a great finisher for a lot of different proteins. Pictured below is how most people, me included, use and think of chimichurri. 

THE SECRET? According to the author, it was making the chimichurri in a blender, not a food processor. It takes all the SAME ingredients, increase the amount of parsley, turn the blender on medium high and literally watch this "vinaigrette" change color and become a sauce! Not really mind blowing, but keep reading because the final result is AMAZING!

This herby, garlic and parsley infused sauce is rich. But when you see the ingredients, it is extremely well balanced and it goes great on pretty much everything! 

Grillionaire™ Pro Tip: The sauce is pretty straight forward, with the addition of extra parsley (the main ingredient). I like to use the curly parsley because it has more of a fresher taste. Also, when you make the marinade for this, you will add equal parts sauce and full fat mayo. TRUST ME the full fat mayo helps the sauce stick to the wings.

So here is my ode to "national wing day" (honestly, it's so hard to keep up with these made-up holidays). I present to you:

Chimi Wings

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium-Low Heat

  • ½ cup Duke's (original) mayonnaise. ONLY DUKE'S!
  • ½ cup Chimichurri sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 pounds chicken wings and drummettes
  • Fine-grain sea salt

Blender Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Calabrian or American chili pepper flakes
  • 1 medium shallot or onion, roughly chopped
  • ¾ -1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
  • 4 cups tightly packed chopped curly parsley with stems, about one nice big bunch


  1. At least four hours in advance: Make the Chimichurri sauce by placing all ingredients except the parsley in a blender and blend until pureed.
  2. Add the parsley a handful at a time. [Note: Trim the stems but keep them as they have more flavor.] You may need to push the parsley down into the liquid. It will have a beautiful green color and look like parsley “pesto.”
  3. Measure out ½ cup Chimichurri sauce and place into a non-reactive bowl. Add mayonnaise and whisk until well combined. This is your marinade for the wings.
  4. Place in a bowl or large re-sealable plastic bag. Add chicken to the bowl or bag. Seal or cover tightly. Turn chicken occasionally to make sure all surface areas are wet and covered with marinade. Marinate for at least 2 hours covered in the refrigerator or as long as overnight.
  5. When ready to grill, preheat your grill to 250º to 275ºF. Set up for indirect heat. Remove from bag or bowl from refrigerator and place wings in the center of the cooking grate over indirect heat. Make sure that each wing or drumette is coated with the marinade. Discard excess marinade.
  6. Place wings directly on the cooking grate and let cook for about an hour. They should be mostly done at this time but not yet brown. Increase the heat by opening up the vents and cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Be sure to check along the way because these days the size of wings vary a lot and the larger the wigs, the longer they will take to cook. My wings were medium large and took a full 90 minutes. I’ve grilled smaller wings and they only took 60 minutes total.
  8. Close the lid to the grill and let smoke/grill for 50-60 minutes or until the marinade is set and the wings are starting to get crispy on the ends.
  9. If you want to cook them at the higher indirect temperature the whole time, they will be done a little sooner but be sure to watch them. The slower cooking insures that they are fully cooked, tender and juicy and I think it’s worth an extra half an hour.
  10. Remove from grill, place on a clean platter and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired, but they shouldn’t need much as they will already be seasoned from the Chimichurri sauce and the mayonnaise.
  12. Serve with extra Chimichurri sauce for dipping

The end result is something amazing and different for sure. I declare, on today's national holiday, you try THIS recipe. Share the results. Let me know your thoughts. This breaks the mold of the norm, ups your game, and makes you an even richer grillionaire™. 

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