Maple Smoked Chicken Wings with Herbed Crème Fraiche and Chardonnay Salt

Yield: 8 Servings

Chef: Chef Thomas Sixsmith

Maple Smoked Chicken Wings with Herbed Crème Fraiche and Chardonnay Salt


  • 3 lbs. chicken wings, cut at the joints, discard the tips
  • 4 c. water
  • ¼ c. kosher salt
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • ½ c. maple syrup
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ c. crème fraiche
  • 1 T. whole grain mustard
  • 3 T. chives, minced
  • Almond or hickory wood chips
  • Chardonnay Salt:
  • ⅓ c. Chardonnay
  • 8 T. Kosher salt


Chardonnay Salt: Combine the chardonnay wine with the kosher salt and stir thoroughly to mix well. Using a dehydrator; dry at 135˚F until the salt is no longer moist.

Wings: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the salt, sugar, garlic and chili flakes. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and add another 2 cups of cold water. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place chicken in a container and cover with the brine for 5 hours. Drain brine from chicken and pat dry with a cloth towel.

In a small bowl stir together the maple syrup, vinegar and rosemary. Set aside for brushing on the chicken while it smokes.

Mix together the salt and the smoked paprika. Reserve.

Whisk together the crème fraiche, mustard and chives until it becomes the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Reserve.

Soak the wood chips in cold water for an hour. Start a small charcoal fire. Once coals have turned white, place the charcoal on one side of the grill. Set the grill grate on top and distribute the wings the on the opposite side of the away from direct heat. Add a handful of the wood chips to the coals. Place the lid on top and make sure the vents are open. Smoke between 275-300°F for 40-50 minutes, turning and basting them with the maple syrup mixture until the chicken cooked through and is firm to the touch. Season to taste with the salt and paprika mix. Serve alongside the crème fraiche & mustard sauce.

Enjoy with glass of Cakebread Cellars Annahala Pinot Noir.