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Smoked Jerk Chicken Wings with Honey-Tamarind Dipping Sauce

This fragrant and spicy jerk marinade gives an instant shot of Jamaican flavor to these smoky wings. Pimento wood, which comes from the allspice tree, provides the unique smoke flavor of Jamaican jerk chicken. Hard to find in the US, the unique flavor of the wood really has no exact substitute but apple and pecan wood are often suggested as an acceptable substitute. Stay away from stronger woods such as hickory or mesquite as those woods will overpower the flavor of the jerk marinade. The tart tamarind melts into mellow honey smooth dipping sauce making these an instant tailgating classic.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Smoked Jerk Chicken Wings:

2 pounds chicken wings, split, wing tips removed

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground cascabel chile

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Honey-Tamarind Dipping Sauce:

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup clover honey

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup tamarind concentrate

1-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Special equipment:
1 cup pimento wood chips, soaked for at least 2 hours in cold water
  1. For the smoked jerk chicken wings: Brush the chicken with canola oil. Combine the sugar, allspice, chile, black pepper and salt. Generously coat the chicken with the spice mix.
  2. Heat the grill to medium for indirect grilling. Add the chips to the coals or put in a smoke box and add to the grill. Place the chicken on the grill over medium heat, and cook until golden browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Cover the grill. Grill until the chicken is brown and crisp and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and place the chicken in a large bowl. 
  3. Meanwhile, for the honey-tamarind dipping sauce: Combine 1/2 cup water, the orange juice, honey, ketchup, tamarind and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until slightly thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove and discard the ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the vinegar. Keep warm. 
  4. Add the honey-tamarind dipping sauce to the bowl of chicken and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to a platter.
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