Home Food DigiBites: “Day O! Day O! Daylight Come, We Wanna Jerk Chicken Wings...

DigiBites: “Day O! Day O! Daylight Come, We Wanna Jerk Chicken Wings This Holidaaay!”

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings with Spicy Coleslaw and Blue Cheese Dip. Photo: Epicurean Exchange

As it is almost Memorial Day, I would like to propose some recipes to kick off the start of the grilling season – with a twist: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings with Spicy Coleslaw and Blue Cheese Dip

I discovered this one on a trip to the Caribbean in 2012 and pair it with a spicy slaw. Serve with a chilled brew, raise your glass to toast a veteran and you are good to go!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings and Drumettes with Dry Spice Rub

Jerk refers to the Caribbean method of preserving meats, fish and poultry by using a dry or wet rub of herbs and spices.  Dry rubs are easy to assemble and keep for an indefinite period of time in a tightly sealed jar.  This spicy, aromatic mixture works great on roasts, fajitas, chicken, and vegetables, and is enhanced when grilled.  This version highlights the use of chicken wings and drumettes, but you can also use whole cut-up chicken pieces: legs, thighs, and breast meat.


4 pounds chicken wings and drumettes

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Dry Spice Rub (makes about 1 cup):

4 tablespoons ground allspice

4 tablespoons dried onion

3 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons dried orange peel

1 tablespoon dried onion powder

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground cloves

• Pre-heat oven to 400˚F, AND, eventually, heat grill to medium-high

• Using a coffee / spice grinder, finely grind all the spice rub ingredients.

• Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with the rub. Gently rub the spices thoroughly into the chicken.  Look for the chicken to be lightly coated and light brown in color (not too dark or black).  However, if you wish the wings to be spicier, feel free to add more rub!

• Place the seasoned chicken pieces on a sheet pan (covered with foil, to reduce clean-up), sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, and place in pre-heated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes.

• Remove from the oven.  To finish the cooking, place chicken pieces on the pre-heated grill, turning frequently, until well-browned and slightly blackened, about 10 – 12 minutes (or until desired color is reached).  Taste, season with additional salt, if necessary.

• Place on serving platter.  Serve with your favorite Blue Cheese dip / dressing (I prefer Marie’s Chunky Blue), and Spicy Cole Slaw.

Serves 4 – 6

Spicy Coleslaw


1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 jalapeños, seeded, cut in half and sliced crosswise

1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

1/2 green cabbage, core and outer leaves removed, and very thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Coleslaw:

• Place the sliced red onions in a small bowl and cover with the red wine vinegar.  Allow to macerate for at least 20 minutes.  Remove onions and discard vinegar.

For the Vinaigrette:

• Place the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and salt in a small plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously to combine.  Set aside.

To Finish:

• In a large mixing bowl, place the cabbage, onions, jalapeños, and parsley, and toss to combine. Vigorously shake the vinaigrette again, and then add to cabbage mixture.  Toss until evenly coated.  Set rest for 15 minutes before serving to soften the cabbage.

• When ready to serve, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.

Serves 4 – 6

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