Labor Day means it’s time for a serious grilling weekend. With cooler temperatures around the corner and the start of another school season, this weekend may signal the official end of summer grilling season. But that doesn’t mean things can’t go out without a bang. The perfect excuse to have one last outdoor gathering, Labor Day weekend just isn’t complete without an all new grilling recipe– our Spicy Jerk Chicken! Flame-kissed grilled chicken is always welcome at parties and manages to feed many mouths without costing very much. This traditional Jamaican-style chicken is full of bold flavor and serious heat from our Scotch Bonnet peppers. And best of all, this recipe doesn’t include very much labor at all! Serve with a side of white rice to soak up all of the amazing flavors along with a glass of cold beer and you have yourself the perfect meal for a summer sendoff.
Don’t let their adorable size and shape fool you. Scotch Bonnet peppers is what gives jerk seasoning their unique, intense heat. With a Scoville heat unit rating ranging from 100,000 to 350,000, these chiles are definitely for the more serious chile-head. Similar in shape, texture and taste to Mexican Habanero chile peppers, Scotch Bonnets are a little sweeter and fruitier in flavor. Their sweet-spicy heat is popularly used to flavor sauces and seasonings and are combine particularly well with tomatoes and tropical fruits. Besides jerk sauce, these peppers can also be added to salsas and meat marinades.
Spicy Jerk Chicken
- 3 lbs of chicken legs
- 2-3 Scotch Bonnet or Habanero chiles
- 1 organic lime, juiced
- 1 medium onion
- 12 bay leaves, chopped
- 10 scallions, chopped
- 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of ground thyme
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of ground rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of ground allspice
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
1. In a food processor, combine all of the spices, chiles and scallions together. In a separate bowl, whisk the lime juice and vegetable oil together.
2. Add the chicken pieces to the lime juice and oil mix. Then pack on the dry spice and chile mixture to the chicken but do not rub it in.
3. Place the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours and then place in the kitchen to come to room temperature.
4. Heat up your grill over an open fire and grill the chicken until lightly charred on the outside. Don’t worry about any blackening on the skin of the chicken.
5. Once the skin has crisped and finished searing, continue cooking the chicken over indirect heat until cooked through for about 8-10 minutes.
6. Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and squeeze on fresh lime juice before serving.
What do you plan to serve up this Labor Day weekend? What are some other party food favorites you like to eat for a late summer BBQ?