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Jamaican Jerk Turkey Wings

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This recipe is for jerked turkey wings, but you can just as easily substitute chicken wings.

Jerk is a true Caribbean invention - Jamaican to be specific. It’s a traditional method of seasoning, marinating, and barbecuing invented to preserve meat in the wild tropics during the days before modern refrigeration. These days jerk is not a necessity to preserve food. However, it's delicious, nutritious, and keeping traditions alive.

Cook’s Note: Pre-cooking the wings helps to prevent flare-ups on the grill. It also allows you to make the wings ahead of time until you need them (no more than a day or two in the refrigerator)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 36 minutes

Marinate: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 41 minutes

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Jerk marinade seasoning (brand name or homemade)
  • 3 Tbsp garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (chopped ); or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice; or 1 Tbsp. whole berries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 to 4 scallions (with green tops, chopped)
  • 5 pounds turkey wings (whole, thawed)
  • Dry jerk seasoning (brand name, optional)

Preparation:

Marinate the Wings (12 to 24 hours)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the jerk seasoning, garlic, thyme, allspice, water.
  • Mix well using a whisk.
  • Place the wings in the bowl and cover with the marinade.
  • Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours up to 24 hours. The longer the wings marinate, the more flavorful they will be.
Pre-Cook the Wings (30 minutes)
  • When the marinating time is over, remove the wings from the jerk marinade.
  • Shake off excess marinade and place the wings in a clean bowl.
  • If you prefer more seasoning, lightly dust the wings with a dry jerk seasoning then place them on a sheet pan with the wing tips face down.
  • Bake the wings at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes or until fully cooked. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
  • For best results bake with the wing tips facing down.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • You have a choice at this point. You may allow the wings to cool down and then hold in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill. Or you may immediately take the wings directly to a preheated grill.
Grill the Wings
  • Preheat your grill to medium heat. You may apply smoke if you prefer. Pimento wood from allspice trees is the traditional choice, but other wood that will due are apple, cherry, or hickory.
  • Put the chilled wings on the grill leaving space between wings fro heat to circulate.
  • Grill the wings for about 3 minutes per side. The skin should crisp up and develop a beautiful dark brown color.
  • Heat to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).

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