Some of you will be saying “Chris this is just your original jerk marinade scaled down”, but with Tehya in the kitchen with me… I had to do this from scratch for her. This chile keeps having craving for spicy food, so this time when she came to me to make up a batch of jerk wings for her, I told her it’s time she learned how to organize it herself. You can see her in action in the jerk chicken wings video I posted late last night on the food channel.
I must mention that there’s no comparison to making this over coals on a grill, but with winter approaching I wanted to give you guys the option to be able to do this in the oven indoors. Now don’t get me wrong… no winter will ever stop me from grilling on the BBQ as I have no problem dressing like Sasquatch and taking on the cold to do my thing on the BBQ outside.
2 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Habanero pepper (scotch bonnet or any that you like)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
3 lbs chicken wings.
The first thing we have to do is make the jerk marinade. Give the onion, garlic, hot pepper and scallions a rough chop so it’s easier for the blender or food processor to work it into the runny consistency we’ll need. Remember to wear gloves when working with peppers with extreme heat like habanero and scotch bonnet.
Basically all we need to do now is pour everything into the food processor and give it a few pulses until you get a sort of smooth (runny) consistency.
* If you don’t have access to a food processor or blender, you can certainly chop everything as fine as you can and give it all a good mix in a bowl.
We then washed the chicken wings with some lemon juice (you can use lime or vinegar as well – about 3-4 tablespoons) and rinsed with cool water and drain. Pat dry with paper towels so the marinade can really stick onto the wings. Pour 1/3 of the marinade on the wings and using your hands, massage the wings with this lovely jerk marinade. Allow this to marinate for at least 30 minutes, before you place it into a 400 degree oven (middle rack).
After 30 minutes we took it out of the oven to give it a good stir (flip wings) and put back for another 30 minutes.
The last 5 minutes you can turn on the broiler setting and allow the wings to get a rich brown color with a sort of toasted edges. You may have to give them a flip to ensure all sides gets this lovely sort of charred look.
You will notice there will be a sort of gravy formed at the bottom, this is excellent to pour over peas and rice to accompany these jerk chicken wings.
Tips: Line your baking dish with aluminum foil or use a disposable pan when roasting these in the oven as I did (it will make clean-up much easier). Add some brown sugar and fresh ginger to the marinade for that extra kick of flavor. Remember that most of the heat in peppers are in the seeds and area around the seeds. So if you want to cut back on the heat level, remove the seeds.
To make dry wings, simply place the wings on a wire rack over your baking dish after the wings have been marinating. This will give you crispy wings which will be packed with a good punch of Jamaican jerk goodness.
Tehya was quite happy with the final outcome of her first jerk chicken wings and though she was a bit hesitant to use the large chef’s knife to chop the onions etc.. she was very proud of her accomplishment. In future videos/recipes I’ll try to include Indy and Kieana so you guys can get to know them better and they can learn how to cook so they too can carry on our culinary traditions. It’s time we got our children involved in the kitchen and away from all the other distractions (video games, computer, cell phones.. boys!)
Before I forget… the remaining jerk marinade can be stored in a plastic bowl in the fridge for at least a week or frozen for a couple months.