How to Make Jerk Chicken | From the Home Kitchen | Bon AppétitJun 06, 2021
Don't wear your favorite clothes while cooking this, you'll smell like barbecue and you might like that, I personally do sometimes, but know that it really sticks with you if you ask any living Jamaican migrant family. In a place like Brooklyn, everyone would have a different spin on their family recipe, which is really cool because it means that recipe really reflects what comes from
home. I wanted to adapt this recipe from a sometimes very complicated grilling process that happens outside and brings it
home, you can do it on a grill setup like this, transfer it to the oven and still get some of those really essential key flavors from what which is usually included in Jerk Chicken, so you can use any cut you want, dark white legs wings. all fair play, I'm using thighs because they are a little sturdier when it comes to the cooking process.
One of the most important steps is drying the meat in brine, it gives it a lot of flavor and also helps tenderize the piece. meat you're working on too, so for my dry brine we have a tablespoon of bell pepper, it's also called allspice in Jamaica, it's mostly known as capsicum, orange zest, I'll probably just use the whole skin, it's one of the ways you get that kind of tried and true Jerk Chicken flavor in the actual dish and if you actually smell it a little bit, it feels like very full winter spices in Jamaica, they actually cook the
chickenor pork over logs of real pepper and soak the wood. chips in water to give that smoky pepper flavor to the meat and that's really essential because honestly without pepper you don't have Jerk
chicken, it won't impart the same flavors, it's like a decent amount of orange, it will add a generous amount.
A pinch of salt and you don't have to worry too much about too much salt when it comes to dry brine, not only does it add a level of saltiness to the chicken, but it also draws out the moisture before you put the dry brine on the chicken. skin, I pat it dry with a paper towel just to
makesure any residual moisture is removed from the chicken coming to room temperature, I'll
makesure it touches the meat as well and if it feels like it can be hit with a little more salt, I beg you to add it, if your instinct tells you that you know what I'm going to do, you can bear it so they look good.
I'm happy with where they are. I'm going to put them. I'm going to leave it in the refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours, then we'll take it out and then we'll add the Jerk paste to the chicken as well so we get it on our friend's neck. I have two plums here so I'm going to cut them into sizes and shapes that I want so we're going to cut this into half moons depending on what season you're in you might not be able to find plums which is totally fine. I would recommend apricot, you can also do something with peaches, anything that has a certain level. of acidity and sweetness is also your friend for this type of recipe, peel ginger.
I'll always break it down into pieces that are maybe a little bit easier to handle like that and then I'll take a spoon and peel it with a spoon. I like to remove the skin just because it's a little more woody. You definitely won't die if you eat it, but it's not necessarily the best, so the ginger scotch cap and black pepper add a special touch. spiciness level and is also creating a complex balance of heat, ginger is slightly fruity and has a very balanced level of spice. The Scottish hat is like intense heat, it's like when someone sings a song and does a falsetto, it's really Going up to that point is a kind of climax of heat for the fast pace.
Being able to connect with the Caribbean culture is also to better understand the history of its people when you are also meeting and learning about Someone or a culture that understanding through food is like one of the first ways to start conversations and dialogue about what it means to be from somewhere and worry about something, so I'm going to smash my garlic. When it comes to our scotch bonnet, you have to be very careful not to prepare a dish at a strange time and then rub your eyes because you're tired and then end up crying in the bathroom for five minutes because you didn't do it.
Don't wear gloves or because you didn't realize what you were doing, make this very simple for me and cut off the top and then cut it probably half as thin and add it in there without contact with the seeds and all the spices. Will transition to real pasta when in Jamaica, when we visit he would eat Jerk pasta from the bottle. Each bottle has a different marking on how hot it was and I would love to challenge myself and see how hot I am. Could I take it and maybe that's why I'm numb? Now you can see the weather in Jamaica, as you can find oregano or rosemary.
It's that tough herb that helps add another layer of flavor to whatever it is. Last but not least, I'm making black pepper. I'm going to add it to our spice grinder. Give it a little buzz. It was ok. I have a fixation on the smell of a freshly crushed black peppercorn. It's almost like a bouquet of flowers. It has a lovely floral flavor that you don't get when you just have pressed black pepper, which is black pepper, which is pre-crushed black pepper, pre-crushed black pepper, which has been crushed, um, black pepper is great. Do you want it to become a loose paste?
We actually want to add that texture to the chicken thighs. It smells strong so we can remove it. Oh my god, it's so hot. Let's light up my grill. We want it to be like. over medium high heat and I'm going to put my plums on the grill with a little bit of oil. I'm going to put them face down trying to be very neat with this, typically at home. I'd probably like to throw them away. all done, but I'm trying to show you today what you do want is for a little grill mark to form because in the meantime, we're going to cook it a little bit longer once we add it to the actual sauce. what we have here is our chicken.
I let this one sit for about 12 hours. I may have coordinated my shirt with this choice of gloves. I'm not sure, but you really know it looks like that, so let's go with it. I don't want to use all of this because I actually like to apply lacquer to the pasta while I'm cooking to give it flavor, maybe a little more than half, maybe let's say 60 75, you can brush it on if you want. to get into all the cracks and crevices and get under the skin to make sure it's well covered, rub it in. I'm having a lot of flashbacks at my dad's restaurant.
He was 11 years old working on roast chicken on a grill over hot coals over firewood. making probably like 200 at least 200 pounds of chicken a day, like letting your palms turn the plums, the char just adds another layer of flavor that is complementary to the
jerkchicken itself, it's not a very far jump from chicken to plum and it feels like it has harmony and that's how you make a well balanced dish see smoke great sign that our pan is hot and we have skin contact we're going to add our grilled chicken we apply a little bit of moisture to it so it's really It's important that we get that fat out of the skin and the other thing, oh gosh, oh it just jumps out at me once you hit the pan, not only is it hot from the smoke but also the capsaicin or whatever's in it. pepper is actually like filtering through air, so if your lungs don't feel like mine right now, I don't know if you're really grilling correctly, these will be cooked skin side down for three to five minutes and all what we want to do here is just start developing color developing those sugars like you mentioned oh yeah starting to flip you can see that even with a little bit of brown sugar that we have we already have some color developing the skin itself it's getting crispy so I'm just going to turn it around so I'm, oh my gosh, struggling to get the words out because it's so spicy, but we have all that heat from the marinade being drawn into the air by the smoke, which is exactly what should be happening and then what do.
I'm going to do, I'm just going to go ahead and add a little bit more paste on top if I really wanted to seal in that flavor. The smoke will get me out, but honestly, for all of you, it's worth it. Do you know what I do? I think it's oven time for everyone's sake. I'm going to take this grill pan, transfer it to the oven, and then we'll start working on our plum sauce. So what did we learn from that moment? Ventilation is really important and you're on your own I'll like to breathe just cough we're fine I think it's time to make a plum sauce the plums offer texture and freshness while the preserve or jam will add that pectin so you need vinegar pieces, chili flakes, light brown sugar. a spoonful of sugar before continuing.
I'm going to go ahead and take my chicken out of the oven. This is perfect because we want it to rest while the sauce comes together so it has color. we have body we're looking for a good time 165 stick it from there uh oh yeah I nailed it perfect add our agave you want to use honey you could use honey if you wanted also make your own simple syrup you could do that too you have options go with what you know is going to break down this garlic take it out of its little shell the mandoline is just for cutting you get a uniform thickness in your cuts I really like the slice of garlic as a graphic element of the whole dish in the syrup or the sauce itself will start to turn translucent but still you will see bits of garlic when you apply it to the marinated chicken so you can see it is starting to come together.
I'm going to go ahead and add my plums. Yes, you really want your plum to be well coated in the sauce, but you also want to make sure you leave it at a low enough temperature so that it starts to let out its own moisture. I'm going to go ahead and shave in our ginger microplating, it's important because you want to have smaller pieces which means the flavor disappears a little bit more, this has cooled a little bit, you have all those juices sitting out, so when we cut it or if you bite into it, it doesn't spill out and it spills everywhere and then what I'm going to do is I'm just going to add the plums on top of that and I feel like it's in a good place and it looks delicious and I'm excited to eat it.
I would like to thank my grandmother, grandfather, aunts and uncles for passing on this iconic recipe to which I have obviously put my own spin today. Let's see how it went. Oh my gosh, let me say that. even though we didn't have a grill, we basically achieved the same level of crispiness, crispness and texture, developing the combination of the spiciness but also cutting through the sweetness of the plum and also the plum is juicy, it's refreshing, I think it's a perfect balance. For this marinated chicken dish, the texture of the skin is amazing, it feels like the perfect nostalgic Christmas food, it's fruity, it's spicy, it's sweet, it's also bright, honestly one of my favorite foods and I would recommend you too try it at home.
Have the summer of your life grilling indoors no matter what season it is and don't be afraid to grill it at home, it's totally possible, we just did it. I'm having so many restaurant flashbacks that are like, anyone just? bring me a glass of water sometime I don't know it's too much to ask a child or learn about that oh
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