By Kathryn Davé
Photography by Jivan Davé

Time to bench fried chicken. Saucy Korean chicken wings are ready to play.

In the South, cooking for your team’s football game is almost as sacred as cooking for Christmas, and game day always means good eating. Even so, there’s something special about the way Clemson fans tailgate; for proof, just ask Southern Living Magazine and others, who have crowned Clemson the South’s Best Tailgate.

More than just the food on tables or the plentiful beer in coolers or the impressive TVs under orange tents, the wide, welcoming spirit of Clemson sets our fans apart. We are happy to share — and the amount of food Tiger fans roll up with or set out for a game-day spread at home backs this up. Keep that generosity in mind when you serve these saucy Korean chicken wings for your next pregame festivities because they are easy to make and hard to resist. A little sweet, a little spicy, the chicken wings come out perfectly crisp before a quick toss in the fiery, finger-licking sauce. Finish the wings with a sprinkle of scallions and sesame seeds and pass the platter around.

On second thought, you might consider doubling or tripling this wings recipe so nobody walks away disappointed. We Tigers like to leave that to the opposing team’s fans.

In the South, cooking for your team’s football game is almost as sacred as cooking for Christmas, and game day always means good eating.


Serves 8–10


6 lbs. chicken wings, tips discarded and wings split into flats and drums
¼ cup canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup gochujang (Korean chile paste)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Sliced scallions and sesame seeds,
for garnishing


1 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil and place a wire baking rack on top of foil. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss the wings with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the wings, skin side up, to the wire racks and roast them for about 45–50 minutes, or until they are cooked through, golden brown and crisp.

2 Meanwhile, in another large bowl, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients (except the scallions and sesame seeds) until smooth.

3 Just before serving, add the crispy wings to the chile sauce, toss to coat, and garnish with the sesame seeds and scallions. If making ahead, keep the baked wings warm in foil for transporting to the game and toss in the sauce before serving. The sauce can also be made a day ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before using.

Jivan and Kathryn Davé ( are a food photography and styling team based in the Southeast, with backgrounds in advertising and editorial media.