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Jamaican Jerk Chicken


Lucinda Scala Quinn, a host of the PBS series "Everyday Food," shares her recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken.

  • Servings: 8


  • 5 bunches whole scallions, roughly chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 1/4 cup ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • One 2 1/2- to 3-pound chicken, backbone removed


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine scallions, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, allspice, pepper, and salt; with processor running, add 1 cup water through feed tube to make a sauce. Set aside 1/2 cup for serving.

  2. Using the tip of a paring knife, make 8 small incisions all over chicken. Place in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken, turning to coat. Cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

  3. Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Place chicken on grill. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, basting chicken with the marinade, for 10 minutes. Rotate chicken, and cook until slightly charred, about 15 minutes more. Turn chicken over, repeating process until slightly charred and an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 25 minutes more. Alternatively, preheat oven to 425 degrees, and bake for 50 minutes, turning once halfway through. Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes. Using a sharp cleaver, chop into small pieces, bone and all, if desired. Otherwise, leave pieces whole. Serve with reserved sauce.

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