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In this jerk chicken recipe, a zesty marinade of garlic, brown sugar, cider vinegar, spices and lime juice gives the meat exquisite flavor. The hickory woodchips lend a lightly smoky flavor to the chicken, but feel free to grill the chicken over coals or gas instead. Serve with a green salad and a buttermilk-herb dressing.




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare jerk paste: Combine scallion greens, onion, Scotch bonnet (or habanero), garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, vinegar, oil, allspice, thyme, salt, cinnamon and pepper in a blender; puree. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

  • To marinate chicken: If using bone-in chicken breasts, cut each breast in half crosswise to make two portions; trim visible fat from the chicken. Add to the jerk paste and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • To grill chicken: Place 2 large handfuls of hickory woodchips in a large bowl, cover with water and let soak for at least 30 minutes.

  • Preheat a gas grill to medium or build a two-zone fire (coals on one side of the grill) in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400 degrees F).

  • If using a gas grill, turn off one or two burners (depending on your grill) so one part is no longer lit. Add one handful of soaked woodchips directly onto the charcoal or into a stainless-steel smoker box. (To improvise a smoker box, see Tips.)

  • When the wood begins to smoke, oil the grill rack (see Tips). Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the rack above the unlit portion of the grill. (Discard any remaining marinade.) Close the lid and cook, adding the second handful of soaked woodchips after 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F, 33 to 35 minutes.


Equipment: Hickory woodchips

If using a gas grill without a smoker box, you can improvise one: Fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Place all of the soaked woodchips in the center, fold the short ends over the woodchips and seal the open ends. Make several holes in the top of the packet. Place the packet, pierced side up, under the grill rack on the burners.

Once the grill is heated, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the hot rack right before placing the chicken on the grill.

Nutrition Facts

3-4 oz. chicken
218 calories; protein 29.9g; carbohydrates 5.8g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 4.3g; fat 7.6g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 115.9mg; vitamin a iu 102.7IU; vitamin c 8.1mg; folate 8.2mcg; calcium 28.5mg; iron 1.5mg; magnesium 30.6mg; potassium 309.8mg; sodium 315.9mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 4g.

1/2 other carbohydrate, 4 1/2 lean meat