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Playing Sticky Chicken Wings with Soy Pineapple Glaze By Aaron Sanchez

MasterChef judge Aaron Sanchez shares his mom's recipe from his latest cookbook Where I Come From

"This is one of the first things I remember my mom cooking," Aaron says about his mom, the influential Mexican chef Zarela Martinez. "I remember having all my friends from school come over to the house, and she'd have these chicken wings ready, always enough for all of us. The flavors were unique—that little bit of sweetness from the pineapple and spice from the ginger, balanced by a salty element from the soy. It's kind of a riff on Hawaiian huli-huli chicken, but instead of orange, we used pineapple."

Pro tip: Line the baking sheet with foil as it can become extremely sticky and tough to clean. 

Adapted from Where I Come From: Life Lessons From A Latino Chef by Aaron Sanchez. Copyright © 2019 by Aaron Sanchez. Used with permission by Abrams Press. All rights reserved.


  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds chicken wings (about 24), tips discarded
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted


Serves: 4 to 6


Preheat oven to 225˚F. Set an oven-safe wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet or line the sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the juices, soy sauce, oil, salt and coriander until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cilantro and, with a zester, grate in the garlic, serrano, and ginger. Season with pepper 

In a small saucepan, reserve half the sauce. Toss the wings in the remaining sauce to coat and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. (Any longer and the pineapple will start to “cook” the meat.)

Arrange wings in a single layer on the rack or parchment, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, set the saucepan with the reserved sauce over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half. 

Remove the foil and increase the heat to 425˚F. With a brush or spoon, glaze the wings with the reduced sauce, then bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 155˚F or 160˚F, 20 to 25 minutes more. Glaze the wings once more as soon as they’re out of the oven.

Sprinkle the scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro over the chicken. Serve warm.