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Jun 20, 2009 11:00 AM

Jerk Chix--Marinade, Rub or Both???

I've made jerk chicken many times--in fact it's listed as my "go to dish". I'm wondering what people normally do. I usually marinade it for 6-24hrs, and then sprinkle it lightly with a rub. It comes out really well, but I'm wondering what other people do.

I use chicken legs and thighs and score them so the marinade penetrates really well. I usually grill it for 15-20 mins and then finish it in the oven to avoid flare ups.

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  1. Actually... mine is none of the above :) It's more of a paste really -- it only contains a little bit of acid so it's not exactly a marinade (a tbls or two of vinegar), but it's certainly not dry. I usually try to let it sit for at least 12 hrs (depending on the heat of the habineros in question) then make up a simple slathering sauce for the last 5 or so minutes of grilling.

    Oh, and I use a two stage grilling process, on heat then off over charcoal, naturally :)

    1. I usually use the marinade linked below. I add some beer as well. It usually does not matter how long i marinate it. I usually grill it over charcoal. I place the chicken thighs or a whole chicken in a cast iron pan over a bed of onions and more beer. I may let the chicken rest on the grill grates to get a little extra smoke and crisp up the skin. As to the recipe use better soy(no kikkoman please) I prefer eden

      1. Our jerk is cooked on the grill, period. Marinated overnight in more of a wet paste than liquidy's certainly not a dry rub...the wet paste contains lots of scallions, habanero peppers or scotch bonnets, lime juice, fresh garlic, soy sauce, allspice, a little sugar and I believe some thyme...reminds us of what we had in Jamaica the 3 times we were there and what they sold on the beaches.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Val

          Yeah, Val, your marinade is very close to mine and it is paste like. I threw in some coriander, black pepper and nutmeg too..

          I've made the dish many times and it's always good. I'm just wondering what other tweaks people make, keep them coming...

          1. re: hankstramm

            Ha, we're having jerk tonight on the grill. On my walk the other day, some inspired neighbor was grilling it ... aroma is so unique and I realized we had not had it recently.

        2. Authentic Jamaican jerk is a wet paste. The jerk paste always uses fresh scallions, fresh garlic, thyme, allspice, plus varying amounts of hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero). Sometimes cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ginger are also incorporated.

          You rub the chicken or pork with the paste, then let it "marinade" before cooking. It's not a liquid marinade and not a dry rub.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Christnp

            Essentially, when I throw the rub on right before cooking, it is just most of the same spices I used in the "paste". I'm able to kick up the heat a bit with the rub and reinforce the flavor of the spices. It seems that no matter how long you marinade somthing, it never is really spicy enough--note: I'm with some real chili-heads right now.