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Emeril's Caribbean Chicken

Sweet spices and hot chiles give the flavor of the islands to this chicken dish. This recipe is from Emeril Lagasse's column, Kick It Up.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2008

Ingredients

  • 4 scallions, ends trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 2 to 4 Scotch bonnet or jalapeno chiles (or to taste), stems and seeds removed (use gloves)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), giblets and liver discarded
  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • Coarse salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine scallions, chiles, garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, and thyme; puree into a thick paste. Set aside.

  2. To butterfly chicken: Using a knife or poultry shears, cut out the backbone. With a heavy pot, crack breastplate so the bird lays flat. Place butterflied chicken in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Rub reserved paste over chicken, and seal bag. Refrigerate for 12 hours (or up to 1 day).

  3. Heat grill to medium-low; lightly oil grates. Wipe chicken with paper towels to remove excess paste, and season with 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Place, skin side down, on grill and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes (if browning too quickly, move to a cooler part of grill). Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

Butterflying reduces the bird's cooking time -- ask your butcher to do it, or see step 2. To give the meat big taste, puree the marinade ingredients into a smooth paste. Plenty of (hands-off) marinating time deepens the flavor.

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