This Recipe for PB&J Wings Is Controversial Yet Crowd-Pleasing

It all makes more gastronomic sense once you read the ingredients

August 25, 2023 6:57 am
The PB&J wings from Jake Melnick's Corner Tap. We scored the recipe for the appetizer.
Here's how to make the famous (infamous?) PB&J wings.
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

Maximalism is omnipresent on the modern food scene, a more-is-more mentality that sees caramelized croissants playing the role of bread in a candied croque madame and grilled cheese reimagined, Inception-style, as a triple-decker behemoth of cheese pull and crisp.

Despite all that being the norm, the idea of reimagining chicken wings with the flavors of PB&J may give you pause, but trust us: this specialty from Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago has totally understood the assignment.

According to chef Nick Santangelo, the current upswing in nostalgic trends was the core motivation for this dish finding its way onto the menu in the first place.

“These actually started as Thai Peanut Chicken Wings,” Santangelo says, “but, at that time, we were also deep into doing culinary research on ‘novelty items,’ so to speak — nostalgic foods that we could do a modern, buzz-worthy twist on. The Thai Peanut Chicken Wings evolved into the PB&J Wings we have on the menu today.”

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The “peanut butter” portion of the wings comes in the form of a Thai-inspired peanut sauce made with Peter Pan peanut butter, which Santangelo prefers thanks to its relative sweetness as compared to other brands. This base is seasoned with garlic, pickled ginger and chili to counterbalance the richness of the peanut butter. 

The “jelly” box is ticked by a chipotle-raspberry concoction: Fresh or frozen raspberries are simmered with chipotles in adobo sauce, garlic and lemon juice. The resulting compote is the ideal dipping sauce for the wings, which are coated in a seasoned flour and deep-fried before being tossed in the Thai-inspired sauce for a whimsical play on two comfort food favorites.

Are you brave enough to give them a chance? Here’s Santangelo’s recipe in all its nostalgic glory.

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap PB&J Wings

Servings: 4

  • 3 lbs. jumbo split wings
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp. seasoning salt
  • ¾ tsp. white pepper
  • ¾ tsp. garlic salt
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 oz. (1 jar) peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) pickled ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 oz. (6 ⅔ tbsp.) Thai chili sauce
  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) rice vinegar
    1. Make the raspberry chipotle jam. Combine the frozen raspberries, minced chipotle peppers, garlic clove, lemon juice and zest, and sugar in a skillet over low heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.

    2. Make the Thai peanut sauce. Combine the peanut butter, chopped cilantro, chili flakes, soy sauce, water, pickled ginger, garlic, Thai chili sauce and rice vinegar in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

    3. Preheat the fryer to 325º F. Combine the flour, seasoning salt, garlic salt and white pepper. Toss the chicken wings in the mixture. Fry the wings for six minutes, then remove and set aside. Heat the fryer to 350º F, then return the wings to the fryer for a second fry. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until crisp. Toss the wings in the Thai peanut sauce to coat. Serve with the raspberry chipotle jam on the side for dipping.


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