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Grilled, Mains

Caribbean jerk chicken

Caribbean jerk chicken
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Marinade: It's one of those culinary terms that evokes an aura of kitchen mystique, as if throwing together a bunch of liquids, flavorings, herbs and spices will magically transform meat, fish or even vegetables into tender dishes bursting with flavor. ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes plus marinating and grilling time | Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 3 to 9 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 (4- to 6-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Step 1In a large bowl, combine the peppercorns, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, salt, sugar, peppers, garlic, ginger, scallions, oil, lime zest and juice, vinegar and rum. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.

Step 2Place the chicken and marinade in a large, sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate the chicken overnight, up to 24 hours.

Step 3Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill on an oiled rack over medium-high heat until the meat is firm and the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted reads 165 degrees. Remove the chicken to a platter and set aside for a few minutes before serving.

Note: Muscovado sugar owes its rich color and deep flavor to its high molasses content, and can be found at most cooking and baking supply stores. Wear gloves while chopping the Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers because the heat in the oils can sting your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers.

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