Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jerk Chicken

Yonetta sent this recipe via email, suggesting I might like it since I like spicy food. I hadn't tried a jerk chicken recipe yet and party wings were on sale, so what the hell. And Marina, this was from a Paleo site, if that makes you stop and look.

The original recipe offers choices of shallot or onion, Scotch bonnets or habaneros, fresh or dried ginger, choice of oil, and cider or red wine vinegar. The particular items I chose to use are itemized specifically below. A 24 hour marinating period was stretched to 72 hours and at the end of the recipe I somehow interpreted "change the temperature to broil" to "put the chicken under the broiler". Otherwise, the method is the same.

Jerk Chicken
from Chris Kresser
click to print

3 lbs skin-on chicken wings
4 green onions, chopped or sliced
1 shallot, rough chopped
habaneros, seeded and sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey, optional
4 tbsp lime juice
1/4 c apple cider vinegar

Put the green onions, shallot, habanero, garlic, ginger, oil, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, honey, lime, and vinegar into a blender.

Puree until liquid.

Cover the chicken with the marinade. Work the chicken into the marinade, covering completely, and if you can get some of the marinade under the skin and directly on the meat (without pulling the skin completely off), that will help the flavor even more.

Use caution touching the marinade with bare hands, and do not touch eyes or face after touching this marinade, even after washing hands. Some people use gloves for this.

Marinate the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for 72 hours. (Or at least 4 hours if you don’t have that much time). Stir the marinade around halfway through.

Stirred after 10 hours, then after a couple days, and allowed to come to room temperature.

Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour just prior to cooking. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Remove chicken from the marinade and place in a baking dish.

Roast for about 45 minutes, turning it and basting it about every 15 minutes. It is done when an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 160°F.

Roasted 15 minutes and then an additional 30.

Transfer wings to a baking sheet. Broil for 2 minutes or until nicely browned on the first side, then flip with tongs and broil for 2 minutes on the second side.

Remove chicken to a plate to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

The first couple bites of this chicken set my mouth on fire and for a moment I was certain it would be too freaking hot to eat and all of those wings would be wasted. It was so spicy! And then I realized the chocolate chips I'd been snacking on all night were what made the chicken seem so intense.

Extended marination was done only out of convenience for me. I had planned to cook the chicken after 24 hours, but became lazy and let it go another 2 days. It didn't seem to make a difference to the chicken since it didn't get rubbery or mushy. The marinade was certainly effective! Every chicken morsel was nicely flavored.

The chicken under the broiler idea was overkill, drying out some of the smaller pieces. I'd stick with the recipe author's original idea of simply cranking up the oven heat to "broil" for 6 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through for even browning. You might consider draining off some of the accumulated liquid in the bottom of the dish first.

This is definitely a go-to recipe if you're into heat. And if you're not, just tone it down with less chiles or maybe milder ones. The flavors are fantastic and worthy of finger licking.

  • chicken wings: $6.39
  • green onions: $0.25
  • shallot: $1.10
  • habaneros: $0.15
  • garlic: $0.12
  • fresh ginger: $0.11
  • olive oil: $0.47
  • lime: $0.18
  • apple cider vinegar: $0.08
Total: $8.85 or $2.21 for each of four servings.