Paleo Chicken Wings a la Daphne

Believe it or not, these wings are a staple at my family’s Greek Easter celebration.  They may not seem like a traditional Greek dish, yet each year they are one of the first of many delicious appetizers to be served.  Even though Greek Easter is an entire day devoted to toasting the lamb and eating many Greek delicacies, these wings are in a class of their own at the “Stony Creek Taverna.”  My cousin Daphne, the Vice Matriarch of the family, has been making these delectable wings for as long as I can remember.  They can barely make it from oven to table before cousins are emptying each basket of wings as they appear.

Don’t be intimidated by the long marinating process.  Just enjoy the benefits of a dish that takes very little prep time, and the marinade does most of the work.  You can marinate it the morning before you cook it, overnight, or a few days before.  When it comes time to cook, everything is done in an hour!

These wings are conveniently baked, not fried, so no fancy tools are required and they are much healthier than your standard restaurant wings.  The sauce is simple to prepare and the flavor is unbelievably tangy and addicting!   I’ve made the marinade Paleo by substituting the soy sauce for coconut aminos, but a low sodium Kikkoman sauce is also a perfect substitute for regular soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake.  You can use bottled lemon juice, but I used fresh lemons (2 of them create about a 1/2 cup juice).

I’ve given the original amounts of sauce in this recipe for about 18 wings, but I doubled the sauce (using 1 cup of each ingredient) because I reduced the marinade on the stove while the chicken was baking to create a dipping sauce.  I added about a 1/4 teaspoon arrowroot powder to thicken it a little more, and divided it in half to make one spicy (with red pepper flakes), and one original.

I purchased a package of chicken in which the wing and the drumstick were not already divided.  This cut of chicken was very cheap!  I cut off the wing tips, but left the rest intact.  I didn’t want to cut or tear them apart without knowing the proper way to butcher them, but it worked out fine!  It was fun (albeit a little messy) having both a wing and drumstick on each piece.  I tore off little pieces of meat and dipped them in the sauce (reduced marinade).

Although this marinade suits wings perfectly, my Mom has also marinated a variety of boneless, skinless chicken pieces with great success!  She marinates the chicken for a minimum of 1 day, which definitely helps ensure that the chicken will be caramelized and juicy.  My Dad is an expert griller, so whether it is a breast or thigh, the chicken is always beautifully cooked.  Taylor and I currently live in an apartment complex and don’t have a grill, so we’ll continue baking for now.  But I plan on branching out to bake boneless, skinless pieces in the oven to see if I achieve the same depth of flavor that the wings achieve.

The first time I made these wings, I cooked half the batch in an aluminum foil-lined baking pan, and the other half on a rack above an aluminum foil-lined baking pan.  Both batches turned out equal in juiciness and cooked evenly.  The skin did stick a little to the aluminum foil because of the honey, but my Mom just introduced me to Nonstick Aluminum foil, so I’m sure that will eliminate that entirely!

These wings are perfect on their own as an appetizer, snack or meal!  Why not serve them at your Super Bowl party?! 🙂


I made these for a Super Bowl party with my husbands coworkers.  They were a huge hit!  I purchased Purdue Wingettes which has the wings and drumsticks separated already.  I used the same cooking process and time, and it worked perfectly!  One thing I did differently was how I used the reduced marinade/sauce.  Instead of just using it for dipping, I basted the wings and drumsticks with a silicone brush (after they baked for 45 minutes) while I was waiting for the oven to heat to Broil.  I did this on each side of the pieces, broiling them for 2 minutes each side, twice.  The time for broiling will depend on your oven so don’t walk away!  The reduced sauce caramelized extremely well and made them extra delicious!

I mentioned earlier in this post that using nonstick aluminum foil would work better so that the wings don’t stick as much.  That was true when I made them for the Super Bowl Party.  The honey will still create a stickiness, but that is part of what makes these wings delectably good.  I think the perfect way to bake a combination of wings and drumsticks is this: line a baking pan with nonstick aluminum foil and place the marinated drumsticks in the pan.  For the wings, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (to catch the drippings/make cleanup easier), place a wire rack on top of the pan, and the wings on the wire rack.  This way, the skin on the wings gets more evenly cooked, helping it crisp up.  Cooking the pieces this way is fool proof!


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (I used 2 fresh lemons)
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 18 chicken wings and/or drumsticks


  • 1. Mix soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and garlic powder in large bowl or ziplock bag
  • 2. Rinse wings and pat dry with a paper towel
  • 3. Add chicken to marinade, cover bowl or seal bag, and let marinate in refrigerator for 8-48 hours
  • 4. Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  • 5. Cover 2 baking pans with aluminum foil
  • 6. Place chicken pieces on pan(s) and spoon a small amount of marinade over the pieces
  • 7. Reserve the rest of the marinade
  • 8. Cook chicken for 45 minutes
  • 9. Meanwhile, pour marinade into a small nonstick pan and reduce on medium-low/medium heat
  • 10. After chicken has cooked for 45 minutes, remove from oven and let rest while oven preheats to BROIL
  • 11. Broil for 1-2 minutes on each side, to create a little bit of char to enhance flavor
  • 12. Serve with reduced sauce for dipping
  • 13. Enjoy!