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Bradford Thompson's jerk sauce is loosely based on his wife Kerry-Ann's excellent family recipe; the couple is hoping to bottle it and sell it in stores. The mix of fiery Scotch bonnet chiles, scallions and spices creates a complex, deep-flavored paste that's amazing on grilled chicken or game hens. More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Bradford Thompson
June 2008

Gallery

© John Kernick

Recipe Summary

active:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs
Yield:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a blender, puree the Scotch bonnets with the scallions, thyme, garlic powder, brown sugar, soy sauce, dark rum and water. Season with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

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  • Using kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone of each hen. Press down on the breasts to flatten the hens. Set them in a baking dish and coat them all over with the jerk paste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 300°. Set the hens on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, until firm but not browned or cooked through.

  • Meanwhile, light a grill. Grill the hens over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through and lightly charred in spots, about 20 minutes. Transfer the hens to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The jerk paste can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

Fiery jerk sauce obliterates the flavor of almost any wine. Instead, serve these hens with beer. Jamaicans would drink the local Red Stripe, a mild lager-style beer; for an American equivalent, look for the lightly malty Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

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