My wife and I went to Jamaica several years back and since I have been obsessed with Jamaican food especially Jerk. I have tried so many different rubs, marinades and dry rubs over the past few years. Below is my #1 personal favorite marinade and process to make Jerk Chicken. This process does require using pimento wood chips, pimento wood sticks and pimento leaves. I have tried Jerk without pimento chips, sticks and leaves and it just is not worth cooking Jerk without these items. The pimento wood truly gives jerk that amazing flavor and taste.
STEP 1: THE MARINADE
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until fine. This marinade will marinade two five pound chickens. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken before adding the marinade.
- 2 Ounces Cane Vinegar (white vinegar works as well)
- 2 Ounces of Meyers Jamaican Rum or any dark rum (optional)
- 2 Cups of light Soy Sauce
- 1 Head of Garlic
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1 bunch of fresh Thyme
- 6-8 scotch bonnet peppers OR habanero peppers (cut in half and de-seed)
- 4 tablespoons of Jamiacan Allspice seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of white pepper
- 1 tablespoon of Paprika
- 1 tablespoon of Nutmeg
- 1.5 tablespoons of Cinnamon
- 2.5 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Be sure to marinade your chickens 24-48 hours minimum.
STEP 2: PREPPING PRIOR TO GRILLING
Soak your pimento wood sticks and pimento leaves in water for 30-45 minutes. Soaking the pimento wood chips is not necessary but if you do soak the chips 10-15 minutes at the most.
I buy my products from a US based company called PimentoWoodProducts
STEP 3: PREPARING THE GRILL
When making Jerk Chicken it is important that you offset cook. Meaning heat on one side of the grill and meat on the other side of the grill. NEVER PUT HEAT DIRECTLY UNDER THE MEAT!! Same thing applies if you are using charcoal or gas!
1. Place a bed of pimento leaves on one side of grill (NON HEAT SIDE)
2. Place your smoker box or foil pouch for pimento chips and a small pan of water with a few pimento leaves in it for moisture on the other side of grill (HEAT SIDE)
|MEAT SIDE HEAT SIDE
3. Lay your pimento sticks atop of the pimento leaves (4 pimento sticks will work)
Start your grill up turning the heat under the side of the grill that your smoker box and water pan are. Let the grill heat up for about 10 minutes.
4. Put two five pound birds atop the pimento sticks and leaves
5. Cook at 275-290 degrees for 3.5 - 4 Hours until internal temp is at 165 degrees and the juices run clear. Do not let your grill go over 300 degrees or your will dry out your birds.
6. Let those pimento wood chips smoke! You only need about 4 ounces of pimento wood chips, we like to break it up into two different smoke sessions. One at the beginning and one following right after our first initial smoke runs out. Be sure not to oversmoke your birds!
After about 3+ hours of grilling at 275-290 degrees and your birds get to about 150 degrees internal you can remove the pimento wood sticks and grill directly on the grill to finish the process to get the birds up to 160 - 165 degrees internal.
Once your birds get to about 160 degrees internal temperature you can take the birds off the grill and wrap in tin foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before eating. This allows the juices to build up even more!
Serve and enjoy!
Below are a few others as well that are worth trying
There are a few other marinades that are pretty good out there. Others that I have tried that are decent are Hellen Willinsky marinade from her book Jerk from Jamaica which is a very good rub (green paste) that has a little sweetness to it. Jay's Jerk recipe is also a decent one as well, both of these can easily be found online. If any of you have any jerk marinades, rubs or recipes they would like to share or add to this thread feel free to do so.
Edited by alwaysbesmokin - 1/5/15 at 11:13am