Chef’s Caribbean-Scottish heritage inspires jerk chicken wings with pineapple and peanuts

Richard Vines

BLOOMBERG – James Cochran is one of Britain’s most exciting young chefs.

He knows the classics, having worked for chef Brett Graham at the two-Michelin-star restaurant The Ledbury and the one-starred Harwood Arms. But James is famed for colourful and punchy dishes inspired by his mixed heritage. He grew up on England’s Kent coast, where he absorbed his father’s Scottish cooking and his mother’s West Indian creations and her love of fried chicken.

James’s tiny restaurant 12:51, in Islington, north London, is closed because of the coronavirus lockdown, but you can try this recipe for jerk yogurt chicken wings with pineapple, peanuts and mint. I cooked it at home and was surprised at how much flavour there was, considering the dish was so simple to prepare and cook.

He says the recipe below is for two hungry chicken lovers, or for four people as a starter or a snack. I downsized it for one and it worked well, not requiring any particular skill or anything beyond basic kitchen equipment.

Jerk Chicken Wings With Pineapple and Peanuts

Serves two for dinner, four as an appetiser

INGREDIENTS

Two cups plain yogurt

One ounce jerk spice

Good pinch of salt

4.4 pounds organic chicken wings

One pineapple

Seven ounces dry-roasted peanuts, lightly crushed

One bunch mint

DIRECTIONS

Combine yogurt, jerk spice and salt. Add chicken wings to marinate, ideally overnight.

Heat oven to 428 degrees and place the wings on a baking tray, making sure you shake off the excess yogurt. Roast for 25 minutes until crispy and golden.

Meanwhile, peel and dice pineapple.

Place the chicken wings on a large platter, then add the pineapple. Scatter with peanuts and mint leaves, and enjoy with an ice-cold drink.

Jerk chicken wings with pineapple and peanuts for one. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG