Chicken wings, famously, come in every flavor imaginable. Wing shops boast dozens of flavors. You’ve got garlic wings and mustard wings; sweet and tangy and fruity wings; XXX-slap-yourself spicy wings. There are barbecue wings and Korean-style fried chicken wings and lemon pepper wings. It’s not easy to come up with a fresh spin on chicken wings, let me tell you.
So for this month’s Instant Pot recipe, I turned to another incredibly popular snack for inspiration: the mangonada, a raspa also known as the chamoyada. Specifically, I asked Loren Cuevas, of San Antonio’s Ice Ice Baby, to lend me her expertise. The sweet-salty-spicy frozen concoction has a history in her family—her grandfather ran a sno-cone shop, where her mother worked while she was pregnant. Cuevas opened Ice Ice Baby in 2017, and while the shop has rapidly become known for its creative concoctions and elaborate fruit dishes, she describes the “classic elements” of the mangonada as “fresh mango Italian ice, a sweet/sour chamoy, and a tangy chile powder.” The appeal, she says, is that trifecta of flavors: sweet, sour, tangy.
With this in mind, I present Mangonada Chicken Wings. The sweet, sour, tangy flavor of the mangonada, plus the spice of the chile powder, makes a perfect sauce for chicken wings. This recipe also happens to be incredibly easy: just stir together the sauce in the Instant Pot, add the wings, pressure-cook for eight minutes, and you’ve got wings. You can eat them at this point, or you can take the cooked wings to toss on the grill at a tailgate or char them a bit under your broiler at home.
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To really play up that mangonada flavor, add a spicy tamarind pulp candy or two to the glaze, to mimic the tamarind candy-coated straws often found in mangonada shops. You can also jazz up the finished wings with extra chamoy and chile lime salt. Or take inspiration from Ice Ice Baby and swap out the mango puree for just about any fruit you like—strawberry would work great, or pineapple.
Mangonada Chicken Wings
3 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon chile lime salt (Tajín or similar), plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
½ cup mango puree*
¼ cup chamoy, plus more for garnish
1 ounce (2 pieces) Pulparindos tamarind pulp candies (optional)
1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with the chile lime salt and additional teaspoon salt until coated. Set aside.
2. On the sauté setting, melt the butter. Add the garlic, stir, and turn off the sauté setting.
3. Add mango puree and chamoy to the butter and garlic. Use ¼ cup water to rinse out the chamoy measuring cup and add that, too. Stir to combine.
4. Add the chicken to the pot and stir until evenly coated with the glaze. Add the tamarind candy, making sure it’s nestled deep among the chicken wings, and close the lid.
5. Cook the wings on high pressure for 8 minutes. Manually release the pressure.
6. Meanwhile, prepare a grill or broiler to medium-high heat. Fish the wings out of the glaze with a pair of tongs (set aside the leftover glaze for serving). If grilling, grill the wings briefly on both sides, just to char them slightly, 1-2 minutes on each side. If broiling, set the wings on a foil-covered sheet tray and broil on both sides until slightly charred, turning halfway through, about 4 minutes on each side.
7. You may want to reduce the glaze while the wings are browning; simmer on the low sauté setting until syrupy. (Timing will depend how much liquid the wings throw off during cooking, 5-10 minutes.)
8. Serve the wings with a drizzle of chamoy and chile lime salt to taste, with the leftover glaze on the side.
*You can blend fresh or frozen mango for this, or buy canned mango puree at many South Asian grocery stores. Personally, though, I buy mango baby food—it’s just mango, nothing added, and the 4-ounce jars are exactly ½ cup.