Sweet, savory and spicy all at once, Jacqui Sinclair's jerk marinade is absolutely addictive. Try it on pork loin, firm white fish or even goat if you can find it. The wood chips are optional if you're grilling, but they add an authentic, subtle flavor to the chicken. Serve with a slightly sweet side dish, such as sweet potatoes or cornbread, to balance the heat.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2010
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare jerk marinade: Place scallions, onion, chile pepper to taste, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and thyme in a blender. Process until smooth. Place chicken in a nonreactive baking dish (see Tip). Rub 2/3 cup of the marinade onto both sides of the chicken. Transfer the remaining marinade to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.

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  • Twenty minutes before you're ready to grill, soak wood chips (if using) in a bowl of water. (No grill? See broiler variation).

  • Fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Transfer the wet wood chips to the center of the foil, allowing as much water as possible to drip back into the bowl. Create a packet by folding the short ends of the foil over the wood chips and sealing the open sides. Make 6 holes in the top of the foil packet with a skewer or the tip of a knife.

  • Place the packet of wood chips, pierced-side up, under the grill rack on top of the burners. Close the lid. Heat the grill to medium-high until the chips in the packet smell smoky and smoke begins to billow from under the lid, about 15 minutes. (Don't worry if the packet temporarily catches on fire.) Grill the chicken, turning and basting with the reserved marinade occasionally (discard any unused marinade), until just cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes total, depending on the size.

  • Broiler variation: Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Line a broiler pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place the chicken on the pan and broil for 10 minutes. Turn, brush with some of the reserved marinade, and broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes more.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours.

Kitchen tips: One of the hottest chile peppers, Scotch bonnets come in vivid shades of red, orange and green and are used throughout the Caribbean. Though they look similar to habaneros, Scotch bonnets have a citrus note that makes them undeniably different. You can control the heat of a dish a little by discarding the membranes that hold the seeds, which are the spiciest part of chile peppers, along with the seeds themselves. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers or wear rubber gloves. If you can't find Scotch bonnet peppers, habaneros can be substituted.

A nonreactive dish or pan--stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass--is necessary when marinating foods in acidic ingredients, such as lime, lemon or vinegar. The acid in the marinade can react with “reactive” dishes or pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, and impart an off color and/or off flavor in the prepared foods.

Nutrition Facts

350.2 calories; protein 44.7g 89% DV; carbohydrates 9.3g 3% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 1.7g 7% DV; sugars 5g; fat 14.1g 22% DV; saturated fat 3.4g 17% DV; cholesterol 136.8mg 46% DV; vitamin a iu 342IU 7% DV; vitamin c 14.4mg 24% DV; folate 28.9mcg 7% DV; calcium 57.2mg 6% DV; iron 2.4mg 14% DV; magnesium 48.1mg 17% DV; potassium 466.5mg 13% DV; sodium 703.9mg 28% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 13% DV; added sugar 3g.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is a very good recipie. I used skinless chicken thighs only and because it is January and I live in Minnesota grilled them inside on a Foreman grill. The marinade went together quickly and will definitly be making this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was some of the best chicken I've had. I used a whole chicken and cut it up and just used all the pieces. I like to do this anyway because it's cheaper and you can use the carcass to make stock. We smoked ours on the grill using the wood chips and it came out so juicy and flavorful. We'll definitely make this again and again. Read More