Since this is now the third time I’ve done a recipe using Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (roughly two more times than I’ve promoted any other food item), you might well think that I’m being paid by the company or at least getting free jars of the stuff to cook with, but you’d be wrong. <Memo to self: Contact Walkerswood about getting an endorsement deal> It’s just that it is super tasty, super healthy, and useful in several super easy dishes! As I’ve mentioned in my posts about the jerk grilled drumsticks and crockpot jerked pork, you are free to use another brand or to make your own, but in my research, I’ve found this to be near perfect. I used to find it pretty regularly in grocery stores, but recently I’ve only found it at Cost Plus World Market or online at Amazon.
Another thing I never shut up about is my awesome annual camping trip to the High Sierras where we have incredibly high standards for our camp cuisine. Last year, in preparation for the trip, I was looking for an appetizer to do, and found an article on “50 Things To Grill in Foil” from the Food Network. There were a lot of interesting ideas, but the two that caught my eye the most were the Hot and Spicy Shrimp, which I did last year and turned out amazing, and the Jerk Chicken Wings, which I did as an appetizer this year.
I’m pleased to report that the wings were a big hit as well, so I wanted to share them with you here. One of my favorite things about cooking in foil is that you don’t have dishes to clean up afterwards, something that is especially important when camping or tailgating. These are no different. Before leaving for camp, I simply separated the wings, put them in a ziplock bag with the rub and some olive oil, squished them around to get them coated in the jerk seasoning, and then threw them into an ice chest until I was ready for them two days later (you can do it immediately before cooking, or keep them refrigerated several days if you wish–I’ve done both with success). At camp, I simply put them on a piece of over-sized foil, wrapped them up into a sealed packet, and through them on the grill (or you could use a “greasy grate”) over the camp fire.
The original recipe said it would take 25 minutes (flipping once) for 12 wing pieces on high heat, which is how it worked when I did it at home. In camp, though, I did 36 wing pieces on camp fire coals, which did not cook nearly as efficiently as the gas grill at home, so it took about 45 minutes to actually cook them properly. The one downside to cooking with foil, is that it is not easy to check to see if food is done without completely destroying the foil. I could tell the chicken wasn’t sizzling like I’d hoped on the campfire, and when I checked on them after about a half hour, they were clearly not done yet. So I put another layer of foil around the original packet (which had been torn to shreds in opening to check), added some wood to the fire, and cooked another 15 minutes. This time, I could hear it sizzling in the foil, and when I took it off again, the wings were perfect!
The original recipe called to squirt lime juice over it when it was finished and sprinkle cilantro on top, and I’d brought both, but my buddies ate them so fast, that nobody (including me) noticed that I’d neglected to do that. I actually made the same mistake at home, but both times it was good enough that I really don’t think it is remotely necessary and is frankly just more to buy and bring along. Regardless, these are much healthier than your standard deep fried wings, and the foil packet keeps them quite moist and tender, rather than dried out, like so many restaurant/bar wings seem to be.
You could easily do this recipe in a foil packet in the oven or even a toaster oven on a rimmed cookie sheet (in case it leaked) by baking it at about 400 degrees, and could probably do it in a covered casserole dish as well, but then you’ve got dishes to wash, and nobody wants that, right?
NOTE: If you use the standard jerk seasoning, the wings will be quite spicy! No more so than regular buffalo wings, but they definitely have a wonderful kick to them. Walkerswood does make a mild jerk seasoning, and several other brands make milder seasonings than Walkerswood’s original, so if your crowd is not very spice tolerant, you might consider one of those options.
- 6 Chicken wings, split, or 12 individual drummettes (with skin)
- 3 Tbsp Jerk seasoning (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
- Heavy duty aluminum foil (I prefer the double-wide sized, for ease of making a packet)
- 1 Lime, cut into wedges (totally optional)
- Cilantro, for garnish (even more optional)
- Split chicken wings, discarding tips (or spend the money to buy them pre-cut)
- Put wing parts, jerk seasoning, and oil into re-sealable bag or bowl. Squeeze or toss to distribute seasoning evenly. Let sit anywhere from 30 minutes to three days.
- Tear off about a two foot length of extra wide, heavy duty aluminum foil (or use two layers of regular aluminum foil) and dump wing parts in the middle.
- Loosely spread wings on foil, fold up sides of foil and crimp a seal. Fold up ends of foil and crimp another seal. If you didn't make a good seal, feel free to put another layer of foil around it and crimp it on the other side.
- Grill or bake on bbq, campfire, or cookie sheet in oven on high heat for 30 minutes, flipping the packet once after 20 minutes.
- Carefully check wings by opening seal to see if cooked/browned. If not, re-seal (or add another layer of foil) and cook another 15-20 minutes. It is hard to over-cook these.
- Bust open the foil packet and serve!
NOTE 2: You can double or triple this recipe, but you will definitely need to use the wider aluminum foil for a bigger packet and you may need to cook it longer to make sure they are cooked through.