Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The best jerk recipe we've ever tasted, which we first published in 1995, is fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once. It's from our former colleague Paul Chung, an adventurous self-taught cook who grew up in Jamaica and has sampled jerk from just about every corner of the island. For maximum flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight.

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  • Servings: 8
KEY: Fall, Summer, Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Dinner Party, Graduation Party, Caribbean, Staff Favorites

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium scallions, chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered

How to make this recipe

  1. In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
  2. Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the grill for a smokier flavor.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.
Contributed By Published September 2003

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