Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Jerk Chicken



8 Servings
Recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious.com
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

A friend of ours had just returned from Jamaica.  He said that one of the highlights of his trip was the incredible food.  This inspired me to do a search for a great jerk marinade.  The ingredient list is a long one, but this is deceptive.  It didn’t take much time at all to make in the food processor.  Once that’s done, place the meat in the marinade for a time and then fire up the grill.  You’ll end up with succulent morsels worthy of company. (If you are concerned about guests not being able to take the heat, use jalapeno peppers and removed the seeds and membranes.) I tried this with skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but the meat came out too dry.  The chicken pieces that I used that were bone-in, skin-on came out juicy and tender!

For jerk marinade:
3 scallions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 to 5 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chili, stemmed and seeded (I used jalapeno because they were local and available.)
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 leaves or 1 heaping teaspoon of dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For chicken:
6 pounds chicken breast halves, thighs and/or drumsticks with skin and bones (Cut the breast halves in half crosswise.)

Make marinade: 
Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Marinate and grill chicken: 
Place chicken pieces and marinade in a sealable plastic bag. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, then turn bag over several times to distribute marinade. Put bag of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, 1 day.
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 and 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.


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