When it comes to BBQ and grilling in the Caribbean, we usually stick to more traditional things, like ‘jerk” and your everyday grilled chicken and other meats glazed store bought bbq sauce. However it’s not due to a lack of creativity, but more sticking to what you know. The new generation are experimenting with different flavors, techniques and approaching food in general as a painter would a blank canvas.
Here’s an example of our creativity…
12 chicken drumsticks (skinless)
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch black pepper
juice 1/2 orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 strips bacon
2 birds eye pepper
1 teaspoon Caribbean green seasoning
10 strips of your fav bacon as well as some toothpicks.
* 3/4 cup tamarind bbq sauce.
Please click on the links above if you need help making the Caribbean green seasoning and/or the homemade tamarind BBQ sauce.
Wash and drain the chicken, then season with the all of the ingredients mentioned above, except the BBQ sauce. Cover and allow to marinate for about two hours.
Shake of the pieces of pepper (leave it it you want the kick) and wrap each piece of chicken with a strip of bacon, then use a toothpick to secure it on.
On a relatively hot grill (brush some vegetable oil on the grilling grates) place the bacon wrapped chicken pieces away from direct heat. On my grill there are 3 burners, so I left the one in the middle off, but had the ones on either sides going. The idea is to grill with indirect heat so you don’t char the outside and have it still raw inside.
Grill as you would normally grill.
Tip: Place you tamarind BBQ sauce (or any fav sauce you decide to use) in a metal cup and let it gently heat on top of your grill, so you’re not basting your chicken pieces with cold sauce.
The last five minutes of cooking is when you’d place the chicken on direct heat (low) and start brushing them with that lovely tamarind BBQ sauce.
Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving or at least warm your guests that they’re there. This will be an avalanche of flavors, from the herb marinade, the freshness of the orange zest and juice, the smokiness of the bacon and the delightful flavor of that homemade tamarind BBQ sauce will be brilliant. You’ll notice that I didn’t use much salt as the bacon is typically salty.