This week I wanted to fire up my trusty 22-inch weber kettle and do a little jerk chicken recipe.
For the chicken, I use a 5lbs whole bird that I cut into pieces myself. But you can use a pre-cut chicken – or just about any pieces of the chicken you like. And since it’s pretty cheap, this dish will feed a lot of folks. Plus it’s a great recipe for summertime grilling.
To flavor the Jerk Chicken Recipe it’s all about the marinade. Here is the recipe I used:
3-4 green onions (diced)
1-2 scotch bonnet pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2T soy sauce
3T olive oil
1T brown sugar
2t cracked black pepper
1 Heaping Tablespoon Jerk Seasoning
You combine all those ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Quick side note:The scotch bonnet pepper is extremely hot. I suggest always wearing gloves when handling them and remove all the seeds and veins. When your finished working with them, make sure you wash your hands really well with soap and water. You do not want to get this stuff in your eyes… or worse. Trust me here.
Place the cut-up chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Remove the air, mix the bag around to make sure all the pieces are covered. Place it in a shallow dish and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours). I also like to mix the bag around every couple of hours to make sure it’s all getting marinated evenly.
When you’re ready to grill, take the chicken out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before it hits the grill. This just brings it up to room temp so the chicken cooks evenly.
The Weber kettle is perfect for grilling this style chicken because you want to sear it fast for a few minutes and then cook it slow to finish. And this Weber is easily set-up for 2-zone cooking. So all the heat is on one half of the grill – and the other half is a cool zone.
I use Weber’s charcoal trays to keep the hot coals corralled in one place. And lump charcoal because it produces high heat for searing; it also gives you plenty of burn time to last the entire cook.
I put my cast-iron cooking grates over the hot zone for the searing. This just keeps the fire from flaring and it gives me some great grill marks. Cause you want the food you cook to not just taste good – but look good too.
But before you get rolling, just make sure you coat your grill grates and your cast iron grates with cooking oil so this chicken doesn’t stick.
Once the grill is oiled and hot, the first step of the process is to sear the outside of the chicken. I start with the skin-side down for 2.5 – 3 minutes then flip it over for another 2.5 – 3 minutes. After you have a good sear on both sides, move the chicken to the cool zone and let it cook. I like to turn mine every 10 minutes or so just to make sure it’s cooking properly. And after about 30 – 40 minutes cooking on the cool zone, the breast should be 165 internal and the thighs should be 175.
Now it’s time to glaze.
And while the chicken was cooking, I made a final glaze. Here is my Jerk Chicken Sauce recipe:
3-4 scallions sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper finely chopped – once again I stress safety with these peppers
1T fresh thyme minced
1T Jamaican Jerk seasoning
2 limes juiced
½ cup ketchup
½ cup pineapple juice
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse it a few times. But I like to leave mine a little chunky – so don’t go crazy here.
I glazed both sides of the chicken with this mixture and let it caramelize for about 10 more minutes. Once the glaze is set, you’re ready to plate and eat.
Just before serving, I like to sprinkle a little more freshly chopped scallions over the top for color.
All you need now is a couple ice-cold red stripes and you’ll think you’re in the Caribbean.
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Jerk Chicken Recipe