If somebody did something nice for you for Valentine's Day, pay him back. Make some delicious honey-hot chicken wings, open up a beer, and kick back with a good movie. This was part of Valentine's Day at our house and it was delicious!
You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, or any regular fry oil to cook the wings, but I have to put in a plug here for peanut oil. Typically we're organic canola fryers (regular canola is often genetically modified, which is scary, so get organic!), but yesterday we tried peanut oil for the first time and we liked it so much better. It doesn't make the house smell like fry oil, the way canola does, and it has a lighter, cleaner taste. So use peanut oil for this if you can. You'll need enough to fill your heaviest skillet about an inch deep.
2 lbs chicken wings, separated (little wings and drummies)
Fry oil, about an inch deep
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour (see note)
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce (I like Tapatio)
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
* Note: Chickpea flour is worth it if you can find it in your area. It's got a lot of tasty applications, but my favorite is frying; it fries up so nicely, not just in falafel but in anything. A few months back I used chickpea flour to create gluten-free fried green tomatoes for a friend and now I wouldn't have them any other way. So if you can't find chickpea flour, then use a full cup of wheat flour, but it's worth it to look for the chickpea kind. And if you're gluten-free, you can just use all chickpea flour for this!
Anyway, rinse the chicken pieces and pat them as dry as you can get them with paper towels, and then pour that fry oil into your heaviest skillet and heat it up. While it's heating, mix all the first set of ingredients - flours, garlic, chipotle, paprika, salt and pepper.
Once the oil is hot, drop the chicken pieces into the flour mixture one at a time and get them nicely coated. Fry the coated chicken pieces about 5-7 minutes on each side, working in batches, until the chicken is cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, as the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, whisking gently with a fork to blend it all together. Let it simmer, whisking every few minutes, while you finish cooking the chicken.
When the chicken pieces are all done, put them all in a big bowl and pour the sauce all over them. Toss the chicken to coat it all with the sauce, and serve with carrot and celery sticks. Add a bowl of bleu cheese or ranch on the side if that's your thing. To make it a meal, you can slice up potatoes and fry them up for a minute or two in the same oil you fried the chicken in. (Of course, a salad is also a nice accompaniment to keep it a bit healthier.)