‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Honey Habanero Wings Turn Up the Heat in a Surprising Way

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond‘s recipe for spicy wings is so hot it might “light your soul on fire” or “rock your world,” depending on how you make it. What ingredients does the Food Network star use for surprisingly extra sticky-sweet heat? Read on to find out that and more.

Ree Drummond, shown on TODAY in 2021, shared her recipe for the Pioneer Woman's habanero honey wings
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond’s passion for ‘The Pioneer Woman’ has brought her to the top of her game

Drummond launched her incredible career through a blog in 2006. After marrying, she started sharing posts about her life raising and homeschooling kids. She added a food section to her site for sharing recipes and photos of dishes, and things eventually took off.

The Pioneer Woman’s lifestyle blog rocketed to over 20 million page views monthly within a few years. Since then, she has written numerous bestselling cookbooks and scored The Pioneer Woman series on the Food Network.

The Pioneer Woman’s honey habanero wings will ‘light your soul on fire if you’re not careful’

Drummond might advise you to “give your oven a break” sometimes, but not when it’s time for wings. She shares her recipe for baked wings with habanero honey in her 2021 cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy!

Importantly, Drummond notes that these are “not messing around in the spice department” and says, “Habaneros will light your soul on fire if you’re not careful!”

If that sounds a tad daunting, she recommends playing around with different peppers, such as jalapeños, for a little less kick. But she says the result will “rock your world” if you can handle the sweet and sticky heat.

Drummond makes her world-rocking flavoring with a surprising combination of ingredients, including honey, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and the final touch: sliced habaneros. She cooks it all into one sauce to coat the baked wings.

The Pioneer Woman recommends baking wings for a scientific reason

Notably, there might be a reason Drummond bakes her habanero honey wings. When choosing between frying and baking chicken wings, Josh Miller — Senior Food Editor for PioneerWoman.com — says to bake them! If for no other reason, there’s less to clean up afterward.

“Fried wings are delicious, but you can get them just as crispy in the oven with way less mess and effort. Lining the sheet pans with foil leads to easy clean-up, and using a wire rack on the pan allows the hot oven air to circulate around the wings, making them extra crispy.”

Josh Miller, Senior Food Editor at PioneerWoman.com

Another reason to bake is baking powder. When cooking crispy wings, Miller says to follow the science. The baking powder mixes with the slightly acidic juices from the chicken to create a reaction like baking soda meeting vinegar, only on a much smaller scale.

The result is crispy, tenderized chicken without using hot oil. So, there’s less to clean up in the end. But if anyone is a stickler for the taste of fried food, Drummond offers her recipe for classic buffalo wings, a favorite on her Oklahoma ranch. She fries them in canola oil and serves them with carrots, celery, and ranch or bleu cheese for dipping.

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