August 18, 2022

Jerk Chicken

Remember to always wear gloves when handling scotch bonnets and guys, DO NOT GO PEE WITHOUT WASHING YOUR HANDS FIRST! Unfortunately, this advice comes from experience.
Jerk Chicken
1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp dark rum
2-4 (depending how hot you like it) Scotch bonnet peppers (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped (more for garnish)
Torn parsley from 1 bunch
Torn cilantro from 1 bunch
1 Tbsp dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground allspice
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons molasses
6 lbs. Chicken quarters (leg and thigh) or two 3 lb. chickens, halved
1/2 cup lime juice
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Make jerk marinade: Put the vinegar, rum, soy sauce, brown sugar, peppers, onion, green onion tops, parsley, cilantro, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses into a blender. Pulse until mostly smooth. If the marinade is too thick for your liking, add a little water to thin.
Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a large freezer bag. Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well.
Massage the jerk paste into the chicken. Seal the bag. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove chicken, simmer marinade: When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken from the marinade bag. Put the remaining marinade into a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken.
If you want you can reserve a little of the marinade (once boiled for 10 minutes since it has been in contact with raw chicken) to serve with the chicken or to mix with some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce for a serving sauce.
Preheat grill to medium high. Sprinkle chicken halves with salt and pepper. Place chicken quarters, skin side down on the grill grates. Cover. Cook for about 40-50 minutes, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken is cooked through. Do not walk away from the grill. Chicken catches fire easily. Flip and move pieces around during grilling if necessary. Crack open a couple of beers and hang out near the grill.
The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into thigh, or 165°F-170°F when checked with a meat thermometer. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

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