One of the best discoveries during my foodie journey was visiting Jamaica and seeing the Walkerswood jerk seasoning marinade in the nearby tourist shops. I purchased a few jars and some seasonings excited to bring them back to the states. After trying my original purchase, I was to find this delicious, authentic jerk marinade somewhere online for shipping. Walkerswood is a small town in Jamaica’s St. Anne’s parish. The food company produces spices and seasonings and ships internationally. You can even find products at stores like Kroger, Walmart, and of course Amazon. Another suggestion is to visit your local Carribean restaurant or market for novelty items sold on site.
Due to the pandemic in America, we were unable to celebrate my mom’s recent birthday somewhere off the coast of Jamaica like we wished. The governor soon, shut down restaurants and bars for dining so the options were extremely slim. On a recent trip to Walmart, I was able to find the jerk seasoning mde by Walkerswood Food Company. I thought this would be the perfect time to make jerk chicken and bring Jamaica to my mom for her birthday.
Jerk Chicken Wings
To make my jerk wings, I stopped at my local meal market for three pounds of large chicken wings. I seasoned the chicken wings with black pepper (we know I never measure here) and 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme. The thyme can be skipped or substituted for the dried version. Since I realized once I started cooking that I picked up the hot and spicy jerk seasoning, I added about 4 tablespoons of light brown sugar to the chicken wings. You can skip this step if you’re able to find the mild seasoning. If you would like to use still, I’d suggest only using 2 to 3 tablespoons. According to the bottle, you are supposed to use about 1 ounce of jerk seasoning per 2 pounds of chicken, seafood, pork, or beef. For my recipe, I used about 2 to 3 ounces of Walkerswood’s jerk seasoning on the wings.
Once the wings were seasoned and covered in the jerk marinade, I cut up half of a medium yellow onion and covered the wings in 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Cooking time: I cooked the wings at 400 degrees F for approximately 50 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, I checked the wings to flip them as they cooked or add more oil if they were beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Your options for what to cook your wings in are not limited- I enjoy cooking mine in my favorite black roaster pan with the matching lid. You can also use an aluminum pan or a baking pan. These wings would also cook well with a baking rack- I have never tried this method so I don’t have much advice. We’re both learning together!
Caribbean Rice and Peas
Of course, we couldn’t have jerk chicken without the rest of the fixings. I made this extremely simple rice and peas recipe. During the quarantine, I was able to modify it by using instant rice because that’s all I could find. Fortunately, the recipe still came out perfectly!
For this recipe, I started by sautéing one small yellow onion with one tablespoon of oil and four cloves of garlic in a medium saucepan.
While the veggies are sautéing, drain 1 eight-ounce can of red kidney beans. Add the beans, two cups of chicken broth and a 3/4 cup of coconut cream or milk. I covered the saucepan until the veggie and liquid mixture come to a boil. Once your beans are fork-tender (if the bean tears when you poke it with a fork), add in 2 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning, one teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, and salt & pepper to taste. At the time, you should turn down the heat to a simmer. Rinse two cups of long grain rice until the water becomes clear. Add the rice to the saucepan, you will need to have at least an inch of liquid above the rice. If needed, add more chicken broth or water to the rice mixture. Bring rice mixture to a boil and then simmer with the lid on top for 30 minutes until the rice is cooked. If you are using instant rice, I suggest using the liquid to rice ratio on the package and follow instructions for cook time and steps. Once the rice is cooked, add about two tablespoons of butter and serve with the my jerk wings and the fried plantains shown in the video below.