Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by last night’s dessert!  Bananas and rum got me thinking about jerk – and I knew I had a recipe for a jerk sauce in an old Bon Appetit somewhere…

It turned into a bit of a production/comedy of errors, but the final result was pretty yummy.

It’s damp and a bit chilly outside, so I decided I’d do the chicken in the oven indoors.

I made the sauce and was marinating the chicken…  I kept looking at it knowing I really should be grilling it.  It was getting late, so I finally said hell with it and went out to start the fire.  I didn’t want to wait for the chimney to get the coals going, so I used the last of the {{{shudder}}} charcoal lighter fluid.  POOF!  Up it went in flames and inside I went to start the rice.

Back outside 10 minutes later and the charcoal is barely – and I do mean barely – even beginning to think about getting hot.  With no more starter fluid, I drizzle a bit of olive oil on the coals to try and get them going.  I created some lovely smoke, but not a lot of flame.  Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  Rice is done.  I haven’t even started the chicken.

Out came a skillet and on went the broiler.  I browned the chicken breasts on both sides, then put them under the broiler for maybe 10 minutes.


The rice was 1 cup of rice with about a quarter-cup of coconut, a pat of butter, and a pinch of salt.

The greens were escarole with lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.

And the jerk…

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Bon Appétit | May 2006

  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 3- to 3 1/2-pound chickens, halved lengthwise, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan for 3 minutes.

Transfer rum mixture to blender; add vinegar and next 12 ingredients and blend until almost smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning to small bowl; mix in ketchup and soy sauce to make sauce. (Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)

Arrange chicken in large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over; turn to coat. Spoon jerk seasoning over chicken and rub in. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Preheat oven to 350°F or prepare barbecue (medium heat). Remove chicken from jerk seasoning marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If roasting chicken in oven, arrange chicken, skin side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with fork, about 50 minutes. If grilling chicken, place chicken, skin side down, on grill rack, cover, and grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally and adjusting heat if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes.

Cut each chicken half into pieces and serve with sauce.

Naturally, I didn’t really follow the recipe all that closely… I used a quarter-cup of rum, no water, and didn’t boil.  I used boonie peppers from Guam (thank you, Jay!) instead of the habaneros, spring onions instead of green onions, boneless breasts, and I broiled, not grilled or baked.  Oh.  And I didn’t marinate for 4 hours, either.

It came out damn good!

And the cupcakes were the perfect dessert!