Smoked, juicy, sweet heat make this take on Jerk Chicken a classic nod, with just a touch of Alaska for fun!
Prep Time:20-30 min; marinate 8-16 hours
Cook Time:30-150 min.
Total Time:9-16 hrs.
Yield:4-6 servings 1x
For the Jerk Sauce:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped,
2 habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles (*add up to 5 if you like it hot)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp. five-spice powder (**Recipe below)
1 Tbsp. allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 Tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp. nutmeg
1–2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp fresh ginger grated, or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or oil of choice)
1/4 c. lime juice fresh or bottled
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. birch syrup (optional)
1/2 c. fresh blueberries (optional)
2 lbs. chicken breasts bone in, skin on (or chicken cuts of choice, monitor internal temps)
For the Jerk Sauce
In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, and blueberries: process to a coarse paste.
With speed on low, add liquid ingredients soy sauce, oil, lime juice, orange juice, and birch syrup in a steady stream until combined.
For the Chicken
Place chicken in ziplock bags and pour in jerk sauce. Allow to marinate in refrigerator a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove bags prior to cooking and allow chicken to come to room temperature. Reserve marinade for Jerk BBQ Sauce if desired*** (Recipe below).
Heat smoker to 275 degrees, use pimento wood if available (or wood of choice, we used hickory). Or turn on and heat BBQ grill to medium.
To smoke, place chicken on rack, insert temperature probe and cook for ~ 2-2 1/2 hours to internal temperature of ~165-170 degrees for white meat and 170-175 degrees for dark meat.
To grill, turn occasionally until well browned and internal temperature as noted above ~30-40 min.
Remove chicken when done, cover with foil, and allow to rest ~ 20 minutes.
Serve it up topped with Jerk BBQ Sauce*** if desired and enjoy.
*Use disposable gloves to prep habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles. Avoid contact with skin or eyes.
**Five Spice Recipe from Food Network: 2 tsp. peppercorns, 8 whole star anise, 1 tsp. whole cloves, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Toast the peppercorns in a hot pan until aromatic, about 1 minute. Put into an electric spice or coffee grinder along with the star anise, cloves and fennel seeds and process into a powder. Add the cinnamon and process for a few seconds to combine. Makes ~ 1/4 c., store in an airtight jar.
*** To make simple Jerk BBQ Sauce, simmer reserved marinade while chicken is cooking. Add 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2-3/4 c. tomato product of choice (i.e. catsup, commercial or homemade BBQ sauce (we used the recipe for homemade sauce found on this blog). Reduce to desired consistency.