YABBA ISLAND GRILL
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings
1 dozen large chicken wings
4 cups + 2 tbsp. oil for frying and sauteeing
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. chopped habanero chili*
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. diced red onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped scallion
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. white sugar
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cornstarch slurry (plus 4 Tbsp water)
To make the sauce:
In a small pan on medium heat, toast thyme, all spice and nutmeg until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Set aside toasted spices.
In large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of oil. Add habanero, ginger, garlic, red onion and scallion, sauté for 1 minute. Add toasted spices, and sauté for another minute.
Deglaze with rum (off heat), scraping bottom of pan to get all bits.
Put back on medium high heat and add lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown and white sugar, pineapple juice and water. Cook until mixture is reduced by half.
In a small bowl, make cornstarch slurry by combining cornstarch and water (1 to 2 ratio of cornstarch to water). Add cornstarch slurry to your sauce to thicken your sauce, and set sauce aside.
Rinse wings under cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
In a large pot, heat oil to 400°. Working in batches, fry chicken until deeply golden and cooked through, 4-8 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken wing).
Drain cooked chicken wing on a paper towel lined plate. Toss wings in Jamaican Jerk Sauce and serve.
* This pepper is extremely hot and adds a great fruity spicy flavor. Use gloves and glasses when chopping the habanero chili (or when handling any hot peppers, but especially those at the top end of the pepper scale). If you work gloveless, it’s a guarantee that you’re in for a nasty case of chili burn, both on your fingers and anywhere you rub. The gloves are going to protect your fingers but touching any part of your body with the gloves after you’ve handled habaneros can again lead to severe chili burn. Resist any urge to rub your eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers.