I started visiting Jamaica on a regular basis in 1987, landing in Montego Bay every Sunday. It was a dry and dusty place but the ocean was beautiful, all sparkly and blue green Caribbean Sea. We used to hang out at a restaurant/bar called Margaritas, where I had my first experience of Caribbean shrimp. An amazing experience, after the dreadful rubber ‘prawns’ offered in England. But the standout food memory was the jerk shacks on the side of the roads, on the drive to Margaritas, in a taxi deprived of suspension with a driver offering us a ‘smoke’. Jerk is an integral part of Jamaican cuisine and a beautiful one. These wings are a great intro to Jerk, if you are new to this awesome flavour, but if you are a veteran, it’s a beautiful combination of spice and sweet.
WINE NOTE: Riesling or Pinot Gris are the go tos for Jerk spiciness. They are the wines that are aromatic in just the right way to partner like Bonny and Clyde with aromatic spice!
2 kg Chicken wings (or 1kg and freeze half the marinade)
For the Jerk Marinade:
2 onions peeled and quartered
2 Scotch bonnet chillies, halved and de-seeded
50g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 tspground thyme leaves
120 ml white wine vinegar120mldark
120ml soy sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
First, make the marinade. Place all the ingredients, except the seasoning, into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Season with a little salt and a generous grinding of black pepper
Pour over the marinade and rub well into the wings. Cover and chill for at least 2–3 hours, or preferably overnight, turning every now and then.
Cook at 180C / 350F for 30 minutes