Jamaican Jerk Chicken

[Photo: Bill Robbins]

Recipe by Jennifer Brule

This spicy, grilled Caribbean delicacy is thought to have come from escaped African slaves who established free communities in the mountains of Jamaica. Hot peppers, allspice, cloves, ginger and cumin combine to make an intoxicating marinade that injects the meat with fire.

Serves: 8 to 12

Ingredients:
  • 2 whole chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 12 cup Red Stripe
  • 12 cup soy sauce
  • 12 cup white vinegar
  • 12 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 whole lime, ends trimmed off, remainder quartered
  • 1 whole orange, ends trimmed off, the remainder cut into 18ths
  • 4 orange habanera or Scotch Bonnet peppers (each the size of a Ping-Pong ball)
  • 1 12 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 12 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 34 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1½-inch piece ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, top 2 inches removed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 small head garlic, peeled and root end removed

Instructions:

• Score the chicken pieces by making several shallow, crisscross slices in the meat. Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
• Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the leftover liquid. Dab the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with   salt. Place the chicken on the grill skin-side down, being careful not to crowd the grill. Cover the grill and cook about 30 minutes, flipping the chicken after 15 minutes, until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 170 F, legs and thighs register 180 F, and juices run clear.



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