Kitchen Diaries: Caribbean Chicken Wings

April 16, 2013

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve made these Caribbean Chicken Wings, which I discovered from Food Network’s “Cooking for Real” with Sunny Anderson. But the cravings were getting the best of me, so I gave in. This is a great dish for a picnic, potluck or cook out. I especially enjoy it because it has a little bit of kick (heat), courtesy of the habaneros. The list of ingredients is a little daunting, but take my word for it: It’s all worth it when you taste the finished product.

Ingredients:
1 habanero, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
7 pounds chicken wings

In a food processor (or blender), blend together all the ingredients but the chicken until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of marinade. Place chicken wings into a large resealable plastic bag and pour remaining marinade over them. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet trays with parchment (or aluminum foil). Remove chicken from bag and place on the baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring reserved marinade to a boil. Reduce by 1/3 until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven. Brush chicken with the glaze. Raise the heat to 400 degrees F and cook chicken until cooked through, another 20 minutes.

Lessons learned: I highly recommend doubling the sauce recipe, just to make sure you have plenty extra to coat the chicken. That includes adding another habanero (I am a huge fan of spicy foods. The additional pepper just takes the dish to all-new heights! However, use discretion according to your own preference). I personally like doing two coats of the glaze: one after the first 20 minutes of baking and another after you take the wings out of the oven to really get that flavor in there. Lastly, be VERY careful when handling the habaneros. I made the mistake of not wearing gloves when slicing the peppers, so I washed my hands twice really good with soap. Several moments later I had forgotten about that when I got an itch in my eye and went to rub it, at which point the burning kicked in. Thankfully, I was able to act quickly and flush my eye with cold water. I followed that up with an ice pack to my eye for a couple minutes and all was well. Silly me.

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