If you’re looking for a way to spice up your average chicken wing, I have a great recipe that I want to share with you. This is my take on a Caribbean Style hot wing cooked over charcoal.
There’s nothing wrong with deep fried hot wings but the flavor that the grill gives these wings is much better, and it’s a little healthier for you too!
I start with 4lbs of frozen wings that you can find at any supermarket. Look for the bag that contains both 1st and 2nd wing sections. You can also buy whole wings and cut them yourself but I’ve found that the Party size wings are just the right size for grilling. (It’s also a little easier)
To thaw the wings place them in a large bowl and cover with water. If you have time, you can let them slow-thaw in the refrigerator but thawed in water they’ll be ready in about 1 ½ hrs.
You never want to thaw chicken at room temperature. It puts the chicken at risk for harmful bacteria to grow and can make you sick. You always want to be safe when dealing with raw chicken. That means disinfecting all surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, even the sink.
Once the chicken wings have thawed, arrange them on a platter and blot dry with paper towel on both sides. Next I season both sides with my All Purpose Seasoning (Here’s the ratio: 1 cup Salt, 1/2 cup Granulated Garlic, 1/4 cup Ground Black Pepper) This is the first layer of flavor and it needs just a few minutes to sit on the skin before placing on the grill.
I’m cooking these wings over charcoal, so I use my weber kettle set up for direct grilling. You’ll need 1 chimney of hot coals and be sure to oil the rack to help prevent the wings from sticking.
While the charcoal is getting ready I make the Caribbean sauce for the wings. It needs about 40 minutes to simmer on the stove.
Here’s the recipe for the wing sauce:
2 Tablespoon Butter
2 Green onions chopped fine (white parts only)
1 Cup Water
½ Cup Ketchup
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
¼ Cup Honey
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
¼ Cup Frank’s cayenne pepper sauce (more if you like it hot)
1 Teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning (recipe below)
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute’ for 1 ½ minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch. Heat to a simmer.
In a separate small bowl whisk the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of ice water to create a slurry.
Pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce pan while stirring. Once it reaches a low boil reduce the heat and stir occasionally the mixture will thicken. Continue to cook on low heat for 30-40 min.
2 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 Teaspoon onion powder
1/4 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground Clove
1/4 Teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon ground Allspice
As soon as the charcoal is ready, spread it out in the grill and place the cooking rack over it. Go ahead and spray the rack with vegetable cooking spray before placing it over the coals because it is very flammable. (trust me on that)
Let the grill temperature settle, it needs to be about 350-375 degrees for wings, medium high heat. Arrange the wing pieces on the grate and set a timer for 4 minutes. Check the wings for color and flip them after four minutes. They should start to brown but not burn.
If you notice that they’re cooking fast, move the wings to a cooler part of the grill. Keeping the lid on and adjusting the vents will keep the fire just right.
Continue cooking on the opposite side for 4 more minutes. I usually check a few wings to get a good idea of how they’re cooking. It takes about 15-20 minutes to fully cook these wings, so working in 4 minute intervals works great.
As they get close to done the skin will appear crisp and should be golden brown. You can check the internal temperature if you need too. It needs to be 165 at least but be sure to stick the thermometer in the meat and not against the bone. The bone radiates more heat and will give you a false reading. I’ve cooked enough of these wings on the grill to tell if there done by looks but it doesn’t hurt to pull a few off and cut into it if you need to. After all, it’s just wings but you want them to be done.
Now that the wings are grilled, it’s time to toss them in the sauce. I use a large bowl and work in batches. It doesn’t take a lot of sauce to coat the wings. Place a few wings in the bowl and pour a little sauce on top. Toss them around and let the sauce coat the wings.
One mistake people often make with wings is using too much sauce, this will soften the skin and you’ll end up with soggy wings. If you use a light sauce it will cover the wings and you’ll still have perfect texture. You can always add a little extra at the end.
When all of the wings are tossed in the sauce, you’re done. I garnish them with the tops of the greens onion sliced thin just for appearance, but these wings are ready to eat.
The Caribbean style sauce is sweet but it packs some heat too. If you like it really hot, add some habanero pepper to the sauce while it’s cooking, but fair warning, it will light you up!
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Hi Malcom, can’t wait to try this recipe. I was wondering whether you thought it would work to make the wing sauce a day ahead, holding back on the cornstarch slurry to the day of the cook? Thanks so much for all the great recipes and bbq wisdom!
You could even add the cornstarch slurry and it will keep for up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge at least.