Kedar’s Jerk Chicken

Kedar turned up at my place a while back for a pot luck party with an extremely large bag of marinated jerk chicken that needed to hit the grill. He kept on about how good his chicken is, but I was somewhat dismissive (yes, I can be an ass sometimes – quiet Kedar!). I have to eat my words, the chicken was so good I had to get the recipe. Since then I have made it a couple of times and replaced our ubiquitous tandoori chicken with his jerk chicken. I figured I should just admit my mistake and share his recipe with the world (or atleast the few of you who follow my blog).

For jerk marinade:
3 scallions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
5 to 6 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, stemmed (I use 4 when I need less spice)..they say to cut the seeds, but that takes out the fire
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (I use sea salt)
2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
3 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I just use the entire nutmeg – not sure how much more than a teaspoon it is
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For chicken:
4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3 lb), halved crosswise
2 1/2 to 3 lb chicken thighs and drumsticks
I just use a bunch of boneless/skinless thighs, but you can follow the recipe

Make marinade:
Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Marinate and grill chicken:
Divide chicken pieces and marinade between 2 sealable plastic bags. Seal bags, pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade. Put bags 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, 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.

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