Oswald Rivera

Author, Warrior, and Teacher

Nuyorican Chicken Wings

What better way to celebrate the dawning of a new year than by going back to homey comfort food? By that, I mean dishes that remain all-time favorites. Among these I include chicken wings. I know, we have all kinds of variations: Buffalo chicken wings, breaded chicken wings, broiled chicken wings . . . and the list goes on. We Nuyoricans have our own way of cooking. At least we do in the Rivera family; and it goes back to using tried and true methods and ingredients. You could say it’s baked chicken wings—but with that Puerto Rican élan (I know, it’s one of those fancy-dan words I discovered during my travels in Europe).

In our recipe, it calls for using a mortar to crush the seasoning ingredients. A mortar and pestle (at one time considered exotic) is a utensil that now can be found in most food outlets. If not, any Latino/Hispanic or Asian market will carry the item. Other than that, the recipe is no-nonsense, easy to prepare and delicious. Normally we serve it with yellow rice and/or tostones (fried green plantains—see entry of 9/9/10 for a quick recipe). If preferred, you can serve it with chicken gravy and mashed potatoes. Chicken wings, in whatever manner, is a dish that will never go out of style.


10 chicken wings
3 cloves garlic, peeled
12 whole peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Rinse chicken wings under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, place in a bowl, and set aside.
3. Put the garlic, peppercorns, salt and oregano into a mortar and pound until crushed. Add this mix to the chicken and toss to combine thoroughly with the chicken wings. If desired, you can use another variation—which is to place chicken wings with seasoning in a large zip-lock bag and shake to combine. Use whatever method seems best.
4. Place chicken wings in a shallow roasting pan (I prefer cast iron) and bake for 1 hour or until crisp and cooked through.
    Yield: 2-3 servings. If you want more, you can double the recipe for 4+ servings.


  1. Easy enough recipe

  2. Oh I love chicken wings or rather im obsessed with chicken wings, especially spicy wings I even play Papas Wingeria game lol. but this recipe is new to me 😀 Imma give it a try this evening, thanks!

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