Jerked Turkey Wings with Pineapple-Habanero Salsa

“Jerked” foods are among my favorites. They are based on a semi-dry marinade called a rub that is typically slathered on meat, fish or poultry. Most jerk rubs contain lots of fresh herbs, freshly squeezed citrus juice, allspice (otherwise known as Jamaican pimiento), and a fiery shot of Scotch Bonnet peppers. A good jerk recipe can taste quite complex but still be very easy to put together. Jerking is more than just a marinade though. Grilling over pimiento wood is another big part of the process. The flavors, aroma and texture that the smoke gives the food are incredible. Since it’s next to impossible to find that wood here, mesquite or any fruitwood will provide great results. Serves 4-6.


  • 9 Turkey Wings, separated at each joint
  Wet Rub Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup Thyme, leaves, fresh
  • 1 bunch Scallions, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsp. Ginger, fresh, chopped finely
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet Pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 Bayleaf, ground to a powder
  • 2 tsp. Allspice, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, ground
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Coriander, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Lime, juice of
  Salsa Ingredients:
  • 1 Pineapple, golden, topped, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup White Onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup Red Pepper, small dice
  • 1/4 cup Scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 Habanero Pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 Lime, juice of
  • To Taste: Kosher or Sea Salt
  • To Taste: Black Pepper, freshly ground


Combine the wet-rub ingredients. Toss the raw drumsticks with enough of the wet rub to coat. Marinate wings, covered in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours) in advance for flavors to penetrate. Meanwhile, combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.  This can be done up to one day in advance as well. Prepare a wood, charcoal or gas grill. Clean the hot grates and rub lightly with a touch of oil. When you are ready to grill the wings, remove the meat from the marinade and wipe off any excess rub. Place the wings directly over a medium flame and cook until nicely marked, turning occasionally to prevent burning. Once the wings are marked, move the wings off to the side, away from direct heat. Turn the grill down to low, cover the grill and slowly cook the wings to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the grill, wind, etc. If you are cooking with gas or charcoal, you can add a foil packet of soaked wood chips directly to the grill to add some smoke flavor if desired. If doing so, add them to the grill before turkey goes on to get the smoke rolling. Serve wings with salsa on the side.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *