Dirty Fried Wings with Candied Jalapenos and Spring Onion Crema

I’m so excited to share my dirty fried wings with you guys. Yep, you read that right. Dirty fried wings.

This recipe is a gift that keeps on giving, because I have paired my fried wings with the perfect balance of sweet and heat…. candied jalapenos. They are also affectionately known in many a circle as ‘Cowboy Candy’, and for good reason.

This quaint little condiment packs a flavourful punch and I always keep a jar in the fridge. It’s really simple to make and without being blow-your-head-off spicy, makes for a really fun and delicious topping for anything from cheese, to burgers, to…

…fried wings!

It’s no coincidence that I chose to pair my candied jalapenos with my dirty fried wings. So put down the KFC bucket, because I am serious when I say I have mastered the art of the dirty bird… and one of the secrets is in the prep. A little kiss of smoke before dredging and frying is the key to incredible flavour.

I really hope you enjoy this dish. Top it all off with a lashing of fresh and cooling spring onion crema and you have an incredible combination of sweet, heat, crunch and cream, all in a single bite. Perfect for game day and any other entertaining. Pro tip: double the recipe, because chicken wings never tasted so good!

Enjoy with gusto,
Jaimie Eats

Jaimie Archer
fried wings with candied jalapeño

Dirty Fried Wings with Candied Jalapenos and Spring Onion Crema

Serves: 4  |  Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 2 hours (smoking time + 30 minutes


For the dirty fried wings:
1kg chicken wings
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup hot sauce (see note)
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
Vegetable oil or lard, for frying

For the candied jalapeños:
500g fresh green jalapeno peppers (approx. 12 chillies)
2 cups sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lime

For the spring onion crema:
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
250ml crème fraiche
Salt and pepper


First of all, prepare the candied jalapenos.

Using gloves, finely dice the jalapenos, discarding the stems but keeping the seeds.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, garlic and lime and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar as completely dissolved.

Next, add the diced jalapenos and stir to evenly coat with the syrup. Allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes, and until darkened in colour.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the candied jalapenos to a clean jar and allow the syrup to continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Once the syrup has reduced, remove from the heat and pour into the jar over the diced jalapenos. Set aside while you prepare the chicken wings.

Rinse the wings well under cold water, then pat dry with paper towel. On a cooling rack over a baking tray, lay out the wings and season well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Next, pre-bake the wings. Light your fire and preheat your smoker to 250F. Place the prepared wings in the smoker and cook for 2 hours, maintaining your fire to keep the temperature steady. After 2 hours, remove the wings from the smoker and allow to cool to room temperature.

While the wings are cooling, preheat your oil to 200C either in a heavy pan or deep fryer.

While the oil is heating, prepare your dredging station. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce, ensuring the mixture is deep enough to submerge the wings.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder and onion flakes, season well with salt and pepper. Place this bowl next to your buttermilk mixture to form a production line.

Take the pre-smoked wings from the refrigerator and one at a time, submerge in the buttermilk mixture. Then, place them in the flour mixture and using clean hands or kitchen tongs, turn to ensure they are coated thoroughly.

In batches, gently place the wings into the hot oil. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.

Meanwhile, make the spring onion crema by combining the sliced spring onions, crème fraiche and salt.

Remove the chicken from the fryer and drain well on paper towel. Arrange the wings on a platter or tray and drizzle generously with the candied jalapenos. Serve immediately with the spring onion crema on the side… enjoy!

I used Frank’s classic hot sauce for this recipe, but you can use any hot sauce you like

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  • Sarah
    Posted at 20:30h, 26 May Reply

    Hmmm, deep fried wings with candied jalapenos, finger licking good! I want a big batch of these with a cold beer 🙂 Could you make these in a regular oven if you don’t have s smoker?

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 08:39h, 28 May Reply

      Yes absolutely 🙂 I would suggest doing them at about 200C for about 45 mins to an hour before letting them cool, dredging and frying 🙂

  • Robyn
    Posted at 07:41h, 28 May Reply

    These wings sound amazing! I love the idea of serving a cool crema with the hot hot chicken. My family will love them!

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 08:28h, 28 May Reply

      The crema is so cool and refreshing – just the right amount of elements!

  • Mark Archer
    Posted at 05:39h, 09 June Reply

    YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM! Smoked Chicken is just about my favourite thing ever. Then to take that and cover it in a delicious crunchy seasoned coating is just mind blowing, like dipping a donut in chocolate. It’s always a favourite with our guests.

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