NYT Jamaican Jerk Chicken is what you need to make this weekend!!
The New York Times really knows it’s stuff when it comes to cooking. We made their Jamaican Jerk Chicken in our smoker a few weekends ago and it was MAGIC.
What I love about NYT Jerk Chicken, is that it is smokey, spicy and sweet all at once. Each bite is a trip to Flavor-town, as Guy Fieri would say. He is absolutely right! This recipe has the perfect amount of heat from habaneros. I am one to like a little spice but not too much. My husband, would add all 10 habaneros if I let him.
Jerk Chicken is a labor of love. There are no shortcuts, no simple way, no quick way to make this. You just need to embrace the fact that you will spend a few hours preparing and smoking this chicken and just roll with it.
I know this is a bold statement, especially coming from someone who loves to cook and blogs about it, but this is officially my new favorite meal. I LOVE IT. We love it so much, that we are making it on the 4th of July this year. This recipe trumps burgers and hotdogs by miles and miles. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me a good burger, but this Jerk Chicken is something special.
Have I sold you on making this yet? I hope so, then leave a comment and let me know what you think!
- 2 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered, or 8 whole legs, or 5 to 6 pounds bone-in, skin-on thighs
- 1 large bunch scallions (about 8), white and green parts
- 2 shallots, peeled and halved
- 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed, or habaneros
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 2 tablespoons ground allspice, more for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
- Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
- At least 1 day before cooking, pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and grind to a coarse paste.
- Slather all over chicken, including under skin.
- Refrigerate 12 to 36 hours.
- Bring to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice.
- Prepare a charcoal grill: Clean and oil grates, and preheat to medium heat using one chimney of charcoal.
- The temperature can start as high as 300 degrees and go as low as 250.
- For best results, coals should be at least 12 inches away from chicken. If necessary, push coals to one side of grill to create indirect heat.
- Add two large handfuls of soaked pimento (allspice) wood sticks and chips (see note) or other aromatic wood chips to coals, then close grill.
- When thick white smoke billows from grill, place chicken on grate, skin side up, and cover.
- Let cook undisturbed for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Uncover grill. Chicken will be golden and mahogany in places. Chicken thighs may already be cooked through. For other cuts, turn chicken over and add more wood chips, and charcoal if needed.
- Cover and continue cooking, checking and turning every 10 minutes.
- Jerk chicken is done when skin is burnished brown and chicken juices are completely clear, with no pink near the bone.
- For large pieces, this can take up to an hour. Serve hot or warm, with rice and beans.
- Pimento wood sticks and chips are available at www.pimentowood.com.
- You can also use a smoker for this recipe instead of a charcoal grill. Just soak the pimento chips and then place in foil in your smoker.
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