Photo by Trina Sustersic

I made a batch of these in preparation for Super Bowl to fine tune the recipe.  I plan on starting the marinade the day before so that the flavors penetrate completely into the meat.  That way all the prep is done and the only thing left to do on game day is to throw them on the barbie.

I thought of Paradise when I tasted some of the tangerines we have come across as of late.  Ginger, garlic, and soy sauce round out an Asian-inspired sweet-n-sour.  I decided on combining all those flavors with Grains of Paradise, a wonderful spice that could really use a Public Relations Agent.  

Grains of Paradise are like a cross between black pepper and nutmeg; they impart a je ne sais quoi that seems familiar to - albeit still different than anything you've ever tasted before.  They are pretty inexpensive and we keep them in a separate pepper grinder to twist a few turns over dishes where one would normally use pepper.

For each pound of wings:


  • One thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled with a spoon and diced
  • One clove of garlic, chopped fine of pushed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • The peel and juice of one tangerine
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground Grains of Paradise, or black pepper in lieu
  • 1 teaspoon of cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • One green onion, minced
  • One jalapeno, minced


Put the marinade and the chicken into a zip-top plastic bag and then into another container and into the fridge.  Expel as much of the air out of the bag so that the marinade has excellent contact with the meat.  The second container is just in case the bag leaks, because they do that sometimes.  

Turn the bag over every once in a while to allow for even seasoning.  I would give them at least two hours but you could let these go overnight, like I will this Saturday.  Optionally, you could add some hot sauce or some more finely minced chili peppers to kick up the heat.

Garnish with sesame seeds and more minced green onion.   Go Niners!

Authordavid koch