Jerk Chicken Wings are packed with bold flavor from the Jamaican-inspired marinade we prepare them in. Don’t be intimidated by the larger list of ingredients required. The results are totally worth it.
The marinade for this recipe is really key. If you’ve never had jerk seasoned food or Jamaican food in general, you may be a little skeptical when you see the ingredient list.
Trust us. They all blend together in this sweet, spicy, and savory marinade you’ll want to put on just about anything.
What does the jerk marinade consist of?
The marinade has tons of fresh herbs and aromatics to create a unique flavor you’ll want again and again.
It’s a blended mixture of scallions, garlic cloves, seeded habanero pepper, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, allspice, dried ginger, dried thyme, salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
If you’re looking for a spicy marinade, be sure to leave the seeds in the habanero pepper. That’ll kick up the heat with no problem.
Do you need to use habanero peppers?
No. You don’t have to use habaneros. Whether it be that you can’t find them in your grocery store or that they might be too spicy for those you’re serving, other options are definitely available.
Try using a seeded jalapeno if you’re still looking for a little bit of heat. A green bell pepper could also be an option, but it’ll be a little more sweet than what you’d typically find with this marinade. You’ll also want to only use a bit of that pepper rather than the whole thing to avoid overpowering the flavors of the spices.
Is the marinade supposed to be more like a paste?
Yes. This marinade should be more like a paste so that it sticks to the chicken wings. If you find that yours is too liquidy, it will be fine. It just may not stick to the wings as well. Also, be sure to taste it before coating the wings to see if you need to add anymore spices.
Adding some liquid like red wine vinegar both adds an acidic flavor to the marinade to balance out the savory and spiciness of it as well as helps blend everything together well.
You won’t add oil to the marinade right away but just before baking the wings, you’ll mix oil into some of the reserved marinade and brush it on the wings to help them brown and crisp up.
What if you don’t have a blender or food processer?
This isn’t a problem at all. It just takes a little more work as you want to mince and chop the fresh ingredients such as garlic and green onion really fine. You may find the consistency is a little thinner and chunkier as opposed to a thick paste, but the flavors will still be great.
How long should you marinate the wings?
You’ll want to marinate the wings for enough time for the flavors to penetrate the skin and the meat. Doing it for at least 2-4 hours should be enough time to accomplish this.
As a word of caution, be sure not to marinate them for too long. Marinating the wings for a shorter amount of time helps avoid breaking down the chicken as keeping it in the marinade too long can make it mushy.
Can you grill these chicken wings?
You bet! Grilled Chicken Wings are always a treat and these are no different. You’ll want to prep your grill with oil on the racks on medium heat. It will only take 20-25 minutes since they’re so small.
Start cooking the wings with the lid closed for a few minutes then open it and watch for hot spots on the grill. Move around any wings that start charring. This can happen easily with the sugar in the marinade. A few minutes before they’re done cooking, flip them over to be sure to get those great grill marks on both sides.
Using an instant read thermometer like this one is the best way to be sure the wings are cooked through without overcooking them.Print
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. dried ginger
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 lbs. prepared chicken wings
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- Limes, optional
- In a blender or food processor, add scallions, garlic cloves, seeded habanero pepper, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, allspice, dried ginger, dried thyme, salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Blend until smooth and reserve half of the marinade.
- In a large bag, add your prepared chicken wings and half of the marinade. Seal the bag and shake the chicken wings in the marinade to make sure it coats all parts of the chicken. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 2-4 hours.
- Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 450°F. Add vegetable oil to reserved marinade.
- Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush some marinade onto each chicken piece.
- Bake for around 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Use an instant read thermometer like this one to ensure that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.