This past Saturday and Sunday were two of my favorite days. Not necessarily because of what happened, which was not all that much, but because they were my favorite types of days. A few errands, a little bit of exercise, quite a bit of cooking and a lot of reading. Lost in thought, serenaded by Frankie Valli, Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
The best days.
One of the recipes that I churned out was this one: Jerk chicken drummies with a cool mango cilantro dipping sauce.
Nothing jerky about it.
While the traditional way to cook anything jerkified would be over sort of flame or seasoned planks of wood (so says my Jamaican coworker), an alternative would be to grill them. Grilling, what a concept. Have I used my grill at all lately? Not once. I forgot to buy gas in May and then never remembered at the opportune time. As such, no grilling for me so far this summer. #Fail.
Are you judging? Then go buy me gas!
Anyway, I had my mind set to make this sans grill with thighs and legs ala the broiled chicken of a few weeks ago when the drummies just were staring me in the face at the market. I figured that, since it’s almost football season (it’s in the air. Can you feel it?), I should put out a wing recipe for your big game day eating pleasure. And to keep it clean, baked not fried.
Side note (1): Go Irish! Go Buffalo!
Ok, back to business. I was wary to make this because I’ve never been a huge fan of jerk chicken. Not because I don’t like it; I like it just fine, but when it comes to chicken I almost always get barbecue and when it comes to wings, I always, always, always get Buffalo. It’s in my blood (#truth). Served only with blue cheese: get that ranch out of my face. What can I say, I was born and bred by the Anchor Bar.
Anyway, I couldn’t leave the Caribbean and Jamaican territory without doing the jerk thing, so here we are. I found a bunch of recipes and hodgepodged something together.
Side Note (2): While I love heat, and am actually pretty tolerant of it, the thought of over-spice-heating food scares me because there really is no easy correction. As such, this recipe uses milder peppers than traditional jerk chicken, which uses scotch bonnets (also, not readily available in these parts). Rather, I used one habanero and one jalapeño. To me, that worked out just fine, with just enough kick to compliment the cool mango dip.
These wings came out really good. I nailed this one, if I say so myself.
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 whole scallions
- 1" fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 TB fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TB dark brown sugar
- 3 TB soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 lime, juiced and zested (about 2 TB juice)
- 1/2 navel orange, juiced and zested (about 1/4 cup juice)
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 dozen chicken wings/drummies
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen mango, thawed
- 1 scallion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 navel orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
- sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes
- Place all the marinade ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. In a gallon freezer bag, add the chicken and the marinade and toss well to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and a wire rack. Place the chicken atop the rack, evenly spaced and baked 50-60 minutes, depending on how big the chicken is, until done and falling off the bone tender.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the dip. Add all the dip ingredients and puree until smooth. Serve alongside the chicken.
- If you want to kick up the heat, use 3 habaneros or 2 habaneros and 1 jalapeño.
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