JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN (for four)
1 chicken (3-1/2 pounds), cut into eight serving pieces
For the jerk marinade:
2 cups finely chopped scallion
3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, seeded and minced, or 1 tablespoon Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce plus, if desired, additional Scotch bonnet chiles for garnish
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons ground allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
3 teaspoons English-style dry mustard
2 bay leaves, center ribs discarded and leaves crumbled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled, or 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cinnamon
one 1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
- Make the marinade. In a food processor or blender puree the marinade ingredients.
- Place the chicken in a large heavy-duty, re-sealable plastic bag and spoon the marinade over, coating it well. (If you are doing larger quantities, divide between two or more bags). Seal the bags, pressing out the excess air, and let the chicken marinate, refrigerated, turning the bags over several times, for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days. Bring the chicken to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
- Grill the chicken. Light 20 to 25 briquettes and when fire is medium hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds), build a 2 level fire by pushing the coals onto half of the grill, piling them about 3 briquettes high. Oil the rack and heat it for 5 minutes. If you are using a gas grill, preheat all burners to high, then reduce to medium-high.
- Remove meat from marinade, scrape off as much marinade as possible and discard it, then pat chicken dry with paper towels. Grill chicken, skin side up, 3 minutes on the hotter side of the grill. Flip it over and grill 3 minutes on the other side. Move to the cooler side of the grill, skin side up, cover and grill 15 minutes longer, until an instant read thermometer registers 160* (do not touch the bone). Let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with Scotchbonnet chiles, if desired.
adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1994