About 10 years ago, Mr. Rasa Malaysia and I owned timeshare and we made a trip to Jamaica for one week. We stayed at both sides of the tourist belt, at Negril and Ocho Rios. That was our first trip to Caribbean and to the land of Bob Marley and reggae.
The beaches at Negirl are probably some of the best ones that we had been to: powdery soft white sand beaches with the most beautiful azure and clear blue sea. The reggae music was always playing in the background, but it was the aromas of jerk chicken wafting from the jerk chicken stand that had us hooked on Jamaica. During our stay there, we sampled countless jerk chicken shacks, and ate every possible jerk chicken that we could find along the beaches, or along the roads from Negril and Ochos Rios.
One conclusion we had after the trip, jerk chicken is the national dish in Jamaica. Every corner there is one jerk chicken shack and regardless of its location, there are always happy patrons eagerly and hungrily chowing down the dark-skinned, spicy, but hot-off-the-grill chicken. We absolutely enjoyed it, and loved eating the chicken with a side of Johnny bread while we entertained ourselves to the happy, smiley, and always jovial local folks, who seemed to be constantly in the “jammin” mode.
Back to the US, finding a good jerk chicken is like finding a needle in the haysack. There are none, other than some really mediocre so-called “Jerk Chicken” at mass market chain restaurants. They are just not good. I am so happy that this Backyard Jerk Chicken recipe from Everyday Food magazine is exactly what I was looking for.
The smell as I grilled the chicken, the taste and bursting flavors that linger in my mouth brought us right back to Jamaica 10 years ago. Celebrate your July 4th weekend with this wonderful recipe!
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Source: Everyday Food
2 pounds chicken pieces
1 habanero chile, stemmed
1 bunch scallions, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grill
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the Chicken, remove the thighs bones. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
2. In a food processor, mixing all the Marinade ingredients together.
3. In a large sealable plastic bag, toss chicken with the paste. Make sure they are nicely coated with the paste. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Next day, fire up the grill and brush a bit oil on the surface. Grill the chicken until they turn golden brown and charred on both sides. Removed from grill and serve immediately.
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