Being neighbors with a West Indian family has some definite advantages, especially when the husband and wife both love to cook. Huguens and Carol are always concocting some Caribbean dish with various island spices and tropical ingredients. As the foodie next door, I often get a sampling of their creativity. One recent Saturday, we were lucky enough to be out on our front porch when Huguens stopped by with some hot-out-of-the-oven curry spiced chicken wings. My oldest son was with me at the time of delivery and gobbled them up as fast as he could. I hardly got to taste them myself but I’ve been dying to make them ever since!
Last weekend, I found myself hollering out my kitchen window to Huguens for some instructions on how to make those tasty wings. Despite being in the midst of his own project, he good-naturedly shared some of his secrets. He told me to start by soaking the wings in water, lime and lemon juice for about ten minutes to clean them (a Jamaican tradition). Before I could even drain the wings, his wife Carol was at my front door, baking dish in hand, ready to cook with me. This was right up my alley!
She jumped right in and chopped some garlic and onions while I sautéed. She measured the spices while I lightly fried the wings in vegetable oil. Within minutes, we had created a beautiful brown curry sauce, which we poured over the wings and then baked them in the oven. While the spicy smells wafted through the house, Carol told me that these wings are inspired by a friend of theirs from Guyana, and involve fusing two different curry powders. The mild flavor made them a hit with my entire family — including all three kids! Carol tells me to add some hot sauce if I want to keep the kid’s away.