Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Aromatic spices and fiery HOT scotch bonnet chiles are what Jamaican jerk chicken is all about. Adjust the heat with the amount of chiles used—or use a milder chile pepper if you can't take the heat, because the flavor of this chicken is not to be missed!
1 whole fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt as needed
1/2 of one whole nutmeg
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cloves, whole
6 allspice seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and membrane removed (see note below)
10 sprigs thyme, leaves only
10 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice or white vinegar
1 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
- Toast the spices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Grind the spices using an electric spice/coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- In a blender or food processor puree the green onions, onion, peppers, thyme and garlic to a smooth paste. Place mixture in a bowl and add the toasted/ground spices, lime juice or vinegar, soy sauce and raw sugar; mix well.
- With a sharp knife, score the chicken pieces in several places and season with salt. Spoon desired amount of jerk marinade over chicken and rub into scores. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake chicken for 35 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and finish the chicken on a hot grill or under the broiler.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: Also called Habanero peppers, it is one of the hottest chili peppers in existence. The Scotch Bonnet/Habanero is rated at 100,000 to 300,000 Scoville Units (degree of hotness), whereas the Jalapeño pepper is rated at 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville Units. Observe extreme caution when preparing these peppers. We advise you to wear rubber gloves during their preparation and to thoroughly wash your hands, cutting board and utensils thoroughly after preparation—and above all please remember NOT to rub your eyes or any other sensitive areas when working with these peppers!