Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This method of cooking pork & chicken dates back to the Carib-Arawak Indians who inhabited Jamaica. After capturing an animal & thoroughly cleaning & gutting it, the Indians placed it in a deep pit lined with stones & covered with green wood, which, when burned, would smoke heavily & add to the flavor. But first, the carcass was "jerked" with a sharp object to make holes, which were stuffed with a variety of spices. The holes also allowed heat to escape without loss of moisture. The results were superb. The meat was not only wonderfully spiced, but moist & tender.

Warning: This is HOT, so if you're not a huge chilli nut, reduce or remove the amount of fresh chilli you use.

1 tbsp ground allspice
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground sage
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp garlic powder or fresh
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white Vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 lime, juiced
1 Scotch Bonnet chilli (habanero)
3 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1.2kg chicken thighs (or legs &/or breasts &/or wings)

Seed & finely chop Scotch Bonnet chilli.
Trim chicken of fat.
In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar.
With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice & lime juice.
Add the Scotch Bonnet chilli & onion &mix well.
Add the chicken breasts, cover & marinate for at least 1 hour, longer if possible.
Preheat an outdoor grill.
Remove the breasts from the marinade & grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.
While grilling, baste with the marinade.
Bring the leftover marinade to a boil and serve on the side for dipping.
Note: Scotch Bonnet chillies, also known as "habaneros," are the hottest of the capsicum peppers, they're truly incendiary.
Substitute Serranos or Thai Bird chillies if you can't find them.

1 comment:

Alix said...

One of the most important parts of this recipe is left out of this explanation. The meat needs to be slashed or scored with a sharp knife prior to being marinaded so the mixture gets inside the meat. Remember to do that!