Jamaican Jerk Chicken has been on my mind for months. I was looking for time and an opportunity to try my hand at making an authentic jerk marinade. I was expecting the marinade to be more complicated and was surprised to see that the ingredient list was lengthy but it was a throw together in one-bowl marinade.
No doubt there are a million variations to make jerk marinade and this is only one version with still a hundred ways to reshape even this one recipe. At the end of the day this was a great introduction to having a very pleasurable experience. The heat from the hot chiles shines through on the back end with a slow steady build, that never overpowers the other naturally intense flavors.
It was a good time to turn the music up loud, bring together family and friends and serve a great summer meal.
Served family style with pigeon peas and rice, carrot salad, fried plantains, plenty of Red Stripe Lager beer and Sauvignon Blanc wine from Cakebread Cellars.
A perfect crowd pleasing meal
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Recipe from Saveur
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup ground allspice
3/4 cup minced scallions
1/2 cup peanut oil or canola oil
1/3 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup minced ginger
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 Scotch Bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and mined
2-3-4 lb. chickens, each quartered
1. Combine sugar, allspice, scallions, oil, pepper, salt, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, and chiles in a bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat in jerk marinade. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 6 hours.
2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium. (Alternatively, heat a case-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.) Add chicken, skin side down; cook, turning once, until marinade forms a crust on the outside, about 8 minutes. Cover grill; continue cooking until cooked through, about 40 minutes. (Alternatively. transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet: bake in a 350 degree oven until done.)