Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Jerk seasoning — here a spicy blend of garlic, onion, chiles, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, though recipes vary — originated in Jamaica and is traditionally used on pork and chicken. Because the jerk marinade can burn easily, the chicken requires slow cooking on the grill, which also helps keep the meat moist.
For jerk marinade
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 -5 fresh scotch bonnet peppers or 4 -5 habanero peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the chicken
- 4 chicken breast halves, with skin and bones halved crosswise (3 lb)
- 2 1⁄2-3 lbs chicken thighs, and drumsticks
- Make marinade:
- Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Marinate and grill chicken:
- Divide chicken pieces and marinade between 2 sealable plastic bags.
- Seal bags, pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade.
- Put bags of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, 1 day (24 hours).
- Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
- To cook chicken using a charcoal grill:
- Open vents on bottom of grill and on lid. Light a large chimney of charcoal briquettes (about 100) and pour them evenly over 1 side of bottom rack (you will have a double or triple layer of charcoal).
- When charcoal turns grayish white and you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds, sear chicken in batches on lightly oiled rack over coals until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch.
- Move chicken as seared to side of grill with no coals underneath, then cook, covered with lid, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes more.
- To cook chicken using a gas grill:
- Preheat burners on high, then adjust heat to moderate.
- Cook chicken until well browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Adjust heat to low and cook chicken, covered with lid, until cooked through, about 25 minutes more.
- Serve chicken with salsa.
- Cooks' note:
- • If you can't grill, you can roast chicken in 2 large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans in upper and lower thirds of a 400°F oven, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, 40 to 45 minutes total.
- **Cook time does not include marinating the chicken for 24 hours.
I used less habaneros, and it was still delicious and had a bit of a kick. Will definitly make again.
OH MY! These are finger-licking-DELICIOUS! I have had jerk chicken before but with each bite, you had to down a pint of water.. This wasn't over-the-top spicy, it had a very pleasant kick! Thank you, Juenessa, for sharing your recipe, definitely a keeper.