Fire up the grill to make these juicy chicken wings marinated overnight in an aromatic mix of Scotch bonnet pepper, allspice, scallion and thyme. Widely celebrated in Jamaica, jerk has deep roots in Taino and African culinary traditions. Traditionally, marinated meat is cooked slowly over fire with pimento wood layered onto burning coals until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. Home grills or high heat ovens provide a practical alternative if you’re not able to get your hands on pimento wood!
Combine the scallions, oil, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, thyme leaves, allspice, cinnamon, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, lime zest and juice and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for basting later. Put the chicken wings and remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Rub the thyme sprigs between your hands and add to the bag. Seal the bag and massage to distribute the marinade evenly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Remove to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
Preheat a grill for indirect and direct grilling over medium heat. For gas grills (with 3 or more burners), turn all the burners to medium-high heat; after about 15 minutes turn off one of the middle burners and turn the remaining burners down to medium. For charcoal grills, bank one chimney starter-full of lit and ashed-over charcoal briquettes to one side of the grill. Set up a drip pan on the other side to avoid flare-ups. (Be sure to consult the grill manufacturer's guide for best results.)
Lightly oil the grill grates. Remove the wings from the bag and season all over with salt. Add the wings to the indirect-heat side. Cover and cook, flipping halfway through, about 20 minutes (the wings will be almost completely cooked at this point). Uncover the grill and baste the wings with some of the reserved marinade. Flip the wings onto the hot side of the grill to crisp up and cook, about 3 minutes, then baste, flip and cook until the wings are cooked all the way through, about 4 minutes more.
Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve with lime wedges.
Be very careful when handling Scotch bonnet peppers and seeds. Wear food-grade gloves if your skin is sensitive.
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