Aubrey recently spent a week in Yellowstone backcounty equiped with a can of bear spray, some underwear, and a backpack full of dehydrated food ( there might of been some other items essential for survival, too.) He organized his meals by day in ziploc gallon bags. Cute, but certainly not appetizing. At least not my style of appetizing but, then again, I've never spent a week hiking 10 miles a day with 50 pounds on my back and no shower. I'm sure then anything would be tasty.
Nevertheless, after a few days of making his own meals in a plastic pouch, he was missing me. I don't think we made it to the front door before he started a running list of all the meals I needed to make him asap. Before kissing me hello, he requested this jerk chicken... and, I get it. I would totally understand if this was his LAST meal request. This is some good chicken. And, it's really fun to place a plate piled with browned and juicy chicken in front of a man who's just spent a week with three non-showered guys in a leaky tent. It's good to be appreciated.
Gourmet, May 2002
There's no standard recipe for jerk chicken. Some are screamin' hot while others really allow you to feel the complex warming spices. Jerk chicken typically shows up in mid summer cookouts but I think it's great for early fall when I am craving some cinnamon and nutmeg. I used serrano peppers in this version but you can turn up the heat with habaneros or scotch bonnets.
For the marinade:
3 scallions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 to 5 fresh chiles ( Serrano, Scotch Bonnet, Habenero...your choice), stemmed and seeded
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
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Chicken
Roughly 3 lbs of chicken, portioned- I used 10 drumsticks but you could use any combination of dark or white meat.
1.Add ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
2.Place marinade in a large Ziploc bag ( or, two bags if needed) and add chicken, shaking to coat. Sealm pressing out any excess air and place bag in a shallow dish ( to avoid any drippage.) Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to a day in the fridge.)
3.Remove chicken from fridge one hour prior to grilling.
For Gas Grill
Preheat burners on high, then adjust heat to moderate. Cook chicken until well browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust heat to low and cook chicken, covered with lid, until cooked through, about 25 minutes more.
For Charcoal Grill ( from Epicurious)
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.