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Caribbean Baked Chicken Wings

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Caribbean Baked Chicken Wings


Craving a taste of the tropics? Caribbean baked chicken wings are the perfect answer. These wings are packed with vibrant flavors, thanks to a rich blend of spices and herbs that capture the essence of Caribbean cuisine. Whether you’re planning a casual dinner or a lively get-together, these wings will surely impress your guests and transport them straight to the islands.

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The Essence of Caribbean Cuisine

Caribbean cuisine is a melting pot of flavors influenced by African, European, Indigenous, and Asian cultures. This fusion creates a unique culinary experience that’s both rich and diverse.

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Key Ingredients in Caribbean Cooking

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Some staple ingredients in Caribbean cooking include allspice, thyme, Scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, and ginger. These elements come together to create bold, aromatic, and sometimes spicy dishes that are beloved worldwide.

The Influence of Various Cultures

The Caribbean has been a crossroads of different cultures for centuries. African slaves, European colonists, Indigenous peoples, and Asian laborers have all contributed to the region’s culinary landscape, resulting in a vibrant and eclectic mix of flavors.

Ingredients Needed

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Chicken Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wings, split and tips removed

Preparing the Marinade

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, allspice, thyme, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix Well: Whisk the ingredients together until the brown sugar is dissolved and the marinade is well blended.

Tips for Maximizing Flavor

  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh garlic and ginger for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Balance the Heat: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper based on your spice tolerance.

Marinating the Chicken Wings

  1. Add the Wings: Place the chicken wings in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  2. Pour the Marinade: Pour the marinade over the wings, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  3. Refrigerate: Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight for maximum flavor.

Proper Marinating Techniques

  • Even Coating: Ensure all wings are evenly coated with the marinade.
  • Turn Occasionally: If marinating in a dish, turn the wings occasionally to ensure even absorption of the marinade.

Baking the Chicken Wings

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare the Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the Wings: Remove the wings from the marinade and arrange them in a single layer on the wire rack. Discard any leftover marinade.
  4. Bake: Bake the wings for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are crispy and cooked through.

How to Achieve Crispy Skin

  • Pat Dry: Before baking, pat the wings dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Wire Rack: Using a wire rack allows air to circulate around the wings, helping them crisp up.

Serving Suggestions

Best Sides to Accompany the Wings

  • Rice and Peas: A classic Caribbean side dish that complements the spicy and savory flavors of the wings.
  • Plantains: Sweet fried plantains provide a delicious contrast to the savory wings.
  • Coleslaw: A fresh, crunchy coleslaw balances the richness of the wings.

Beverage Pairings

  • Rum Punch: A tropical cocktail that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of Caribbean wings.
  • Iced Tea: A refreshing, non-alcoholic option that helps cool the palate.

Nutritional Information

Caloric Content

  • Overall Dish: Approximately 250 calories per serving, depending on portion sizes and specific ingredients used.

Macronutrient Breakdown

  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 15g

Variations and Substitutions

Healthier Alternatives

  • Skinless Wings: Use skinless chicken wings to reduce fat content.
  • Air Fryer: Cook the wings in an air fryer for a lower-fat cooking method.

Different Flavor Profiles

  • Honey-Lime: Add honey and more lime juice for a sweeter, tangier version.
  • Coconut: Incorporate coconut milk into the marinade for a creamy, tropical twist.

Tips for Storing and Reheating

Proper Storage Techniques

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag.

Reheating Methods

  • Oven: Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.
  • Microwave: Heat in the microwave in short intervals, though this may result in less crispy wings.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Marinating Errors

  • Not Marinating Long Enough: For best results, marinate the wings for at least 2 hours, but overnight is preferable.
  • Overcrowding the Marinating Bag: Ensure the wings are evenly coated and have enough space.

Baking Mishaps

  • Not Turning the Wings: Turn the wings halfway through baking for even cooking.
  • Overbaking: Keep an eye on the wings to prevent them from drying out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen wings?

  • Yes, just make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before marinating.

What if I don’t have all the spices?

  • You can substitute with a Caribbean spice blend or use what you have on hand, though the flavor may vary.

Is it possible to grill these wings instead?

  • Absolutely, grilling the wings adds a wonderful smoky flavor. Just keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

Can I make this recipe with drumsticks or thighs?

  • Yes, you can use other chicken parts, but adjust the baking time accordingly.

How spicy are these wings?

  • The spice level can be adjusted by the amount of cayenne pepper used. Feel free to increase or decrease to suit your taste.


Caribbean baked chicken wings are a delightful way to bring a taste of the islands to your table. With their bold, vibrant flavors and crispy texture, they’re sure to be a hit at any gathering. The marinade’s unique blend of spices infuses the wings with a rich and savory taste that’s simply irresistible. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a culinary journey to the Caribbean.

FAQs After the Conclusion

Can I marinate the wings for too long?

  • While longer marinating can enhance flavor, more than 24 hours might start to break down the texture of the meat.

What type of soy sauce should I use?

  • Regular or low-sodium soy sauce both work well; low-sodium is preferable if you’re watching your salt intake.

Can I make the marinade ahead of time?

  • Yes, the marinade can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

What if I don’t have a wire rack?

  • You can bake the wings directly on a foil-lined baking sheet, but they may not be as crispy.

Are there vegetarian alternatives for this recipe?

  • You can use tofu or cauliflower florets as a vegetarian substitute. Adjust the marinating and baking times accordingly.

    Caribbean Baked Chicken Wings

    Craving a taste of the tropics? Caribbean baked chicken wings are the perfect answer. These wings are packed with vibrant flavors, thanks to a rich blend of spices and herbs that capture the essence of Caribbean cuisine. Whether you're planning a casual dinner or a lively get-together, these wings will surely impress your guests and transport them straight to the islands.

    For the Wings:

    • 4 pounds chicken wingettes/drumettes (washed and patted dry)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    For the Glaze:

    • 1/2 cup pineapple preserves
    • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
    • 2 tablespoons molasses
    • 2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
    • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
    • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil, then coat with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Toss the chicken wings with the salt and pepper and spread on the baking sheets in a single layer.
    3. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
    4. In the meantime, make the glaze: Put all the ingredients for the glaze in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Take off the heat, reserving about 1/4 cup for basting.
    5. Briefly remove chicken from the oven and baste each piece with some of the glaze.
    6. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
    7. Remove from oven and baste again. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes (or until the internal temperature registers at least 170 degrees F. Wings should cook for a total of 35-40 minutes and meat should easily come off the bone.)
    8. Toss cooked wings with the remaining glaze in a large bowl; transfer to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.
    Caribbean Baked Chicken Wings


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