Jamaican Jerk Chicken
This one's in the hot and spicy category. My father's all-time favorite (anything Hot and Spicy is his favorite) Jamaican jerked chicken is "assertive" in both flavor and fragrance, fiery hot and smoky delicious!!! This is the best jerk recipe I've ever tasted. Don't let the amount of pepper's scare you from giving this one a try, it truely is delicious. This has a medium-hot paste (rub). For a hotter paste, add more peppers and/or use entire pepper; for a milder rub remove the seeds and membranes in the peppers."Amazing! I didn't have the right pepper so I used a jalapeño. I also didn't have a grill so I slow cooked it in the oven (covered) at 275 degrees for about 4 hours. I can't stress how good this recipe is. So full of flavor!!" - Gutzj01
Yield: 8 Ready in 9 hours
favorite of 1,515 people 851 people want to try
|1 mediumonion; coarsely chopped|
|3 mediumscallions; chopped|
|2 Scotch bonnet chiles; seeded and chopped, or to taste|
|2 clovesGarlic; chopped|
|1 tablespoonfive-spice powder|
|1 tablespoonallspice berries; coarsely ground|
|1 tablespoonblack pepper; coarsely ground|
|1 teaspoondried thyme; crumbled|
|1 teaspoonnutmeg; freshly grated|
|1/2 cupSoy sauce|
|1 tablespoonVegetable oil|
|2 chickens; (3 1/2 to 4 poundd) halved through breast, or quartered|
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Preparation
In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn and rub to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning chicken every now and then. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
Fire up the grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot (charcoal), low (gas) fire, turning occasionally, basting now and then with the leftover sauce, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Add wet wood chunks and cover grill for authentic deep smoky flavor. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.
Use pimento, oak or mesquite wood--never use charcoal or gas alone.
Soak wood for at least 2 hours before grilling to keep from burning and to create a good smoke.
When using a gas grill, keep the temperature low.
Use a coffee grinder to grind whole allspice berries.
Marinate meat in a sealed plastic bag placed in a shallow pan (rub in the marinade from outside the bag).
Rub jerk paste on with your fingers (wearing gloves) to get full coverage.
Don't marinate too long or seasonings will change meat's texture.
For milder seasoning, remove seeds and membranes from Scotch bonnet, or use a milder pepper like the jalapeno or serano (though it won't have the authenticity nor intensity of the jerk flavors).
Don't store jerk more that a month.
Optional -- you can adjust and dilute your marinade with soy sauce, vinegar, rum or beer.
Handle Scotch bonnet chiles with extreme caution. It's best to wear gloves when cutting or cleaning them (or rubbing-in the marinade containing them), avoiding contact with any sensitive skin or the eyes--even washing your hands may not be enough to remove all the capsaicin (volatile oil responsible for heat and burn).
The jerk seasoning can be made a day in advance. Chicken can be marinated for up to one day, but no longer since the seasonings will start to cure the meat and change its texture.
To get authentic Jamaican jerk flavor, add pimento wood to your gas or charcoal grill, oak or mesquite are good substitutes. Never use charcoal or gas alone. You won't get that smoky flavor that's so much a part of the jerk experience -- Soak wood chunks in water several hours so it won't burn, place in a smoke pan for gas grills or directly on smoldering coals. The wet wood keeps the fire from getting too hot and creates the flavorsome smoke. If the fire is too hot, the meat will char outside but still be raw inside. Since jerk cooking is a slow process, it's important to let the flavor gradually cook through.
Chicken should be cooked until it's firm to the touch, juices run clear and the meat is tender. Even if overcook a little, you will still have a tender product due to the seasonings ability to tenderize combined with slow-cooking process.
When grilling, don't be concerned that chicken is burning. As it cooks the thick sauce will go quite black in places, but as it falls off it will leave behind a really well flavoured, crisp skin, with lovely moist tender meat underneath.
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