04 April 2010

Spring Time Means Grill Time!

Throwdown with Bobby Flay inspired another one of our favorite meals: Jerk Chicken. Unlike the Cuban Burger Recipe, we did not end up using Bobby Flay's recipe, nor the one from his opponent, The Kitchen Diva. However, the recipe we use again and again is much closer to The Kitchen Diva's recipe than to Bobby Flay's recipe. I have not made either of their recipes, so I cannot comment on them, but I do know we love this recipe!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken, from the Sugar Reef Caribbean Cookbook and Diana's Kitchen

1 T ground allspice
1 T dried thyme
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 t ground sage
3/4 t ground nutmeg
3/4 t ground cinnamon
2 T garlic powder or fresh
1 T sugar
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c soy sauce
3/4 c white vinegar
1/2 c orange juice
1 lime, juiced
1 scotch bonnet pepper (habanero)*
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 whole chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces

1. Seed and finely chop the habanero. In a medium bowl, combine the first nine ingredients (yes, it looks a bit like dirt). In a two cup measure, combine the liquid ingredients. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the spices, whisking to combine. Add the onions and habanero, stir to combine. 

2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a shallow dish, preferably with a lid (a 9x13 works great here). Poke holes in the chicken with a fork or sharp knife to allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat. Add the jerk mixture, making sure the chicken is coated on all sides. Marinate the meat for at least one hour, preferably four. 

3. Outdoor instructions: Preheat your grill, allowing for indirect grilling. Cook the chicken 45-60 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Baste meat with the marinade, turning every 10 minutes or so (I usually baste before and after each flip). Bring your leftover marinade to a rapid boil, cooking until slightly thickened, approximately 10 minutes to kill all the raw chicken germs. Serve alongside the chicken for dipping.**

Indoor instructions: CAUTION You do not want to use a grill pan unless you have a good hood. The marinade is spicy and will cause violent sneezing unless you have your hood on full blast! Preheat your grill pan over medium high heat. Grill your chicken (remember dark meat takes longer to cook), basting and turning every 10 minutes until cooked through. If you are lucky enough to have two grill pans, when the smaller pieces are done, arrange the rest of the chicken on one pan so your extra pan is empty. Grill up a veggie of your choice in the leftover drippings from the jerk chicken. 

* If you don't care for spicy, omit the habanero. I did not use a habanero today and substituted it with 1/3 t hot red pepper flakes and the chicken left a nice lip tingle, but was not too hot. If you are a total spice wimp, also decrease the cayenne to 1/2 t. 

** I love to scoop up tons of the sauce with my chicken, giving it just a bit more heat. Hubby prefers no sauce.

We ran out of gas once when we were grilling, and had great success finishing the cooking in the oven. On the other hand, I once decided it would be a great idea to cook the chicken in the marinade, moving it directly from fridge to oven. BIG MISTAKE. The chicken was way too hot and a simple glass of milk did not wash away the heat. If you wan to use the oven, please take care and baste your chicken rather than cooking it in the marinade. 

Happy Easter! Enjoy grilling season! :)


  1. Looks really yummy! Too bad we are such wimps when it comes to the heat in our food! I made a really good crab dip/topping for an Easter appetizer yesterday--served it on cucumber and crackers. Mmmmmmmm.

  2. You can easily make this recipe without the heat! Please share the crab dip when I'm in Atlanta :)


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