Levantine-Spiced Wings

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  24 pieces
Prep Time:  25 minutes Marinating Time:  4 hours Cook Time:  20 minutes

Levantine-Spiced Wings

These wings taste complex and hard to make, but they are really very easy. You’ll be raiding your spice pantry a bit, but then get ready for something new and altogether delicious. The wings are tart from sumac’s lemony edge and both richly flavored and spicy hot from the dried peppers. The wings are great with tahini, so when you are serving hummus and vegetables, this is the wing to serve with. Allow at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, for them to marinate (which makes them a great do-ahead, because the actual roasting time is very fast).


2 pounds chicken wings, drumettes and wing portions separated, wing tips removed (see Kitchen Tip)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

Leaves of 6 fresh thyme sprigs, minced (see Kitchen Tip)

¼ small onion, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved, any green centers discarded

2 tablespoons ground sumac, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper

½ teaspoon ground Kirmizi pepper

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Zest and juice of 1 large lemon

1 teaspoon pomegranate or other fruit vinegar

½ teaspoon large-crystal sea salt



  1. Place the chicken wings into a large sealable plastic bag. In a small mixing bowl, combine the oil, thyme, onion, garlic, sumac, salt, Aleppo and Kirmizi peppers, black pepper, lemon zest and juice, and vinegar. Mix to create a paste and pour it into the bag. Seal securely, releasing as much air as possible first, and smoosh to coat the wings well. Place the bag in a large bowl (to prevent spillage) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. When you are ready to roast the wings, preheat the oven to 385°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a broiling or grill rack on top. Spray with nonstick vegetable oil spray.
  3. Remove the chicken pieces from the bag and place on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch. Discard the bag with the remaining marinade (see Kitchen Tip). Roast for 10 minutes, turn with tongs, and roast for 5 more minutes. Increase the oven temperature to broil and broil for 2½ to 3 minutes per side, until crispy.
  4. Transfer to a platter with tongs, sprinkle with the large-crystal salt and additional sumac if desired, and serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. To remove the leaves from a sprig of fresh thyme, hold the sprig (or a few) at the top with one hand, and with the other hand, grasp the stem with your thumb and forefinger and gently slide your fingers down the stem. The leaves will be pushed against the direction they grow in, and will come off easily.
  2. Ask your butcher to separate the drummettes and wings and remove and discard the inedible wing tips. Or if you want to try this yourself, it’s not hard at all. Click here for a video that shows you how.
  3. Discard the marinade when you are ready to cook, as it may harbor dangerous foodborne bacteria. Some recipes suggest that you can kill any bacteria by boiling a marinade for 15 minutes, but this is not true—and not  safe.

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