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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This is one of our all-time favorite recipes! I saved it from a newsgroup or forum posting years ago, but was recently told it was from the cookbook, "The Sugar Reef Carribean Cookbook," by Devra Dedeaux.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder or fresh
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (habanero)
  • 3 green onions -- finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion -- finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 chicken breasts

Instructions:

"JERK: This method of cooking pork and chicken dates back to the Carib-Arawak Indians who inhabited Jamaica. After capturing an animal and thoroughly cleaning and gutting it, the Indians placed it in a deep pit lined with stones and covered with green wood, which, when burned, would smoke heavily and add to the flavor. But first, the carcass was "jerked" with a sharp object to make holes, which were stuffed with a variety of spices. The holes also allowed heat to escape without loss of moisture.

The results were superb. The meat was not only wonderfully spiced, but moist and tender." (Note: Sugar Reef is a restaurant in Manhattan) Seed and finely chop Scotch Bonnet pepper. Trim chicken of fat. In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, say sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice.

Add the Scotch Bonnet pepper, onion, and mix well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, longer if possible.
Preheat an outdoor grill.

Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling, baste with the marinade. Bring the leftover marinade to a boil and serve on the side for dipping.

Note: Scotch Bonnet peppers, also known as "Habaneros" are the hottest of the capsicum peppers, they're truly incendiary. Substitute Serranos of Thai Bird Chiles if you can't find them.

Serves 4 to 6

Calories per serving (based on 4 servings of 6 ounces of chicken each): 525
Fat per serving (based on 4 servings of 6 ounces of chicken each): 25.9g

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