Pigs on the Wings





The love affair with the chicken wing continues in our next installment and as before we stay on the grill for those of you, like myself, in the north who have limited good weather days remaining this year.  We also include my love affair with Pink Floyd this week which has lasted since childhood.  Our last recipe was about wings with classic Buffalo Sauce and this time we shift to a barbecue sauce that is very popular in the south which incorporates the great taste of bacon to fulfill our motif for this entry.

Pink Floyd has been one of my all-time favorite bands for life and I certainly am not alone in this call out.  Unparalleled in innovation and creativity, Pink Floyd remains the greatest exercise in the progressive rock genre ever engineered.  I love all their work from the early days with Syd Barrett as the lead to David Gilmour’s splendid voice and incredible guitar work as Barrett’s replacement to Roger Waters assuming the lead songwriting duties and taking the band from the underground pubs of London to worldwide superstardom.  Pink Floyd will forever remain in a class by themselves.

This sauce I have created for the wings is more traditionally used on ribs but I find that a bit redundant.  You will have plenty leftover so you can try it on ribs or pork chops and certainly over any type of grilled chicken.  The version I am doing for you is a little different than what you would normally make on your own or buy at your grocery.  I cut down on the acidity by using crushed tomatoes instead of all ketchup.  I also incorporate the great taste of apples in addition to the bacon which I find to marry very well with any tomato based sauce.  It’s a great combination of sweet, savory, and spicy that I think you will enjoy and appreciate the creativity.  Ergo, it’s a prefect testimony to the divine Pink Floyd.





For the Barbecue Sauce:

6 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

½ TBSP chopped Garlic

½ cup Laird’s Applejack or other Apple Flavored Brandy

15 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes

1 cup Ketchup

¾ cup plain Applesauce

¼ cup Cider Vinegar

1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

2 TBSP Dijon Mustard

3 TBSP Maple Syrup

¼ TSP ground Cinnamon

1 TSP ground Sage

1 TSP Salt

½ TSP ground Black Pepper

½ TSP crushed Red Pepper flakes

For the Wings:

2 lbs. Chicken Wings separated into drumsticks and wings

1 TBSP Olive Oil

2 TBSP Smoked Paprika

1 TSP Celery Salt

2 TSP Salt

½ TBSP ground Black Pepper

¼ TSP Cayenne Powder

½ TSP Garlic Powder

Handful of Applewood or Hickory Chips for grilling



  1. Make the sauce well ahead of the Wings even a day or two ahead if you like
  2. In a grill pan or large skillet grill or fry the Bacon until very crispy. Do not discard the grease in the pan.  Drain on paper towels and rest until cool enough to handle.  Crumble the Bacon into small pieces.
  3. Meanwhile in a 3-qt. sauce pot heat 2 TBSP over medium heat of the reserved Bacon grease discarding or saving the rest.
  4. Add the onion and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes
  5. Add the garlic and cook another minute
  6. Pour in the Applejack or Brandy and increase the heat. Reduce by half.  About 3 minutes.
  7. Add the Tomatoes, Ketchup, Applesauce, Vinegar, Worcestershire, Mustard, and Syrup and stir
  8. Add the Cinnamon, Sage, Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper flakes and stir. Increase the heat to medium high.
  9. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered or partially covered to avoid any splattering until rich and thick to your desired consistency. About 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  10. Add the Bacon crumbles to the pot and let the Barbecue Sauce rest until nearly room temperature
  11. Place all the contents of the pot into a food processor and pulse several times until mostly smooth but still a little lumpy. Pour the contents back into the pot and let rest until you make the Wings or refrigerate if not using the same day.
  12. Soak the Wood Chips in water for a half hour to an hour
  13. To make the Wings pat dry the Chicken Wing pieces with paper towels then place in a bowl and drizzle with the Olive Oil and spread evenly over all the Wings.
  14. In a small bowl combine the Paprika, Celery Salt, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, and Garlic Powder and mix thoroughly
  15. Rub the spice mixture all over the Wings distributing evenly
  16. Remove the Wood Chips from the water and place in the smoker box or if you don’t have one fold them in some aluminum foil and poke a few holes so smoke can escape. Place the foil in a corner of your grill that will be lit.
  17. Prepare a gas grill by oiling the grate and then turning on one side to high and leaving the other side off for indirect grilling
  18. When the temperature reaches about 300 degrees F place the Wings on the grill as many as can fit on the cool side of the grill or in the upper rack(s) away from the flames.
  19. Grill turning occasionally for about 45 to 60 minutes.
  20. Move the Wings to the hot side of the grill and start basting with the Barbecue Sauce. Turn often and keep basting each time you turn.
  21. Grill the Wings until crispy and cooked through about 10 to 15 minutes.
  22. Repeat the process until all the Wings are cooked. You will have Sauce left over for future use.  Remove from the heat and serve hot.


WINE PAIRING:  I still recommend your favorite BEER brand for this recipe but if suds are not your thing a nice Riesling would be a good wine choice for the Wings.


Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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