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Caribbean Food Made Easy
by Levi Roots

Pile these chicken wings high and serve them hot, hot, hot! The marinade is adapted from one by Bob Marley's chef, Gilly. In the late 1970s when Bob was in London, I played football with him and lots of other Rastas in Battersea Park at weekends. Gilly would always have food prepared for afterwards and this jerk marinade is inspired by what he made for us. I love the sugared oranges with these but they also work as a refreshing pudding. You could use blood oranges as an alternative if they're in season and you can find them.
Serves 4 as a starter or as part of a barbecue spread


    • 12 chicken wings
    • 2 tbsp soft light brown or demerara sugar
    • 2 pipless oranges
    • 5 long, mild red chillies, whole and undamaged

    • 4 spring onions, green part only, roughly chopped
    • 1 hot red chilli (ideally Scotch bonnet), seeds left in
    • 3cm (1½ in) piece of root ginger, cut into chunks
    • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
    • 100ml (3½ fl oz) cider vinegar
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 2 tsp ground allspice
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt and pepper


1. Put the marinade ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Alternately, pound the ingredients to a paste using a pestle and mortar. Pour it over the wings, turning them over so they are well coated. Leave to marinate, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight if more convenient, turning the wings over once or twice.

2. Get a barbecue going until the coals die down to hot grey ash (or preheat an oven to 190°C/375°F. Barbecue or cook the wings, turning them over a few times, until they are cooked through (the juices should run clear when a skewer is pushed into the thickest point) and nicely brown, basting with any leftover jerk marinade (about 15 minutes).

3. While the wings are cooking, sprinkle the sugar on to a plate and cut the oranges into quarters Dip the cut sides of each piece into the sugar and cook on the barbecue (or in a heavy dry frying pan or under a stovetop grill) for a few minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Keep a close eye on the oranges to prevent them from burning. At the same time, chargrill the chillies.

4. Serve the wings with the caramelized oranges and chargrilled chillies.


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