With BBQ/Grillign Season just around the corner, I thought I’d reflect back to last year’s Annual July Month Of Grilling and share the printable recipe for outstanding Smoked Jerk Chicken! While I wish I had access to Pimento Wood as used in Jamaica, we found that soaked Apple-Wood gave the jerk chicken a wonderful fruity flavor which balanced the spiciness of the jerk marinade.
3-4 3lb chickens
1 cup jerk marinade (store bought)
1/2 cup olive oil
* adjust salt to your own liking as we found that most jerk marinades are already loaded with sodium.
** Soaked apple wood
I was joined by Chef Marc during the filming of this recipe (watch the video below), so special thanks to him for sharing his take on this tasty dish.
Start by taking off the back-bone of the chicken, along with the wing tips. Then press down on the breast or chest – to spatchcock the birds.
Mix the jerk marinade (use store bought or make your own as we’ve done in the past) with the olive oil (whisk) then rub the chickens down with the marinade. Let it sit for an hour or so to enhance the flavor of the finished jerk.
In the meantime, get your wood/charcoal fire started. We used lump charcoal and on top of that we went on with white maple wood. That created a wonderful flame, which in-turn created lovely coals. It got to about 400 F, so yea… it was a high heat. Basically we had 3 zones on the grill. Direct – HIGHEST Heat. Indirect – away from the direct flame (where we’ll be most of the time) and Above both areas – the wire rack. Where you’ll get the most smoke as it travels from the flame to the vent via this route more directly.
We started with the chicken away from the direct heat (so zone 2 indirect heat) and above (zone 3) the direct smoke path. We rotated the birds in a clock wise direction every 10-15 minutes. For even cooking and true infusion of the smoke.
Speaking about the smoke, we had Apple Wood soaking in water overnight (while the guy who we buy wood from said this is the best way to get smoke, we’ve read that it’s the not the most healthy). The Apple wood went directly over the coals we started earlier to burn slowly and give out maximum smoke.
This is after about 30 minutes – we did maintain a heat between 400 and 425 F consistently.
After about 1 hour and 20 minutes, we then went into applying BBQ sauce to the chickens. Basically your fav BBQ will work. But I highly recommend that you heat the BBQ sauce you decide to use, before applying.
In total we went on with about 4 coats of that BBQ sauce (and this meant a further 15-20 minutes of cooking), while still moving the chickens on the different zones – in a clock wise direction. Yes, we did apply BBQ sauce on both sides of the chickens. Use a thermometer if you’re not sure if the chickens are fully cooked. You’ll need to get at about 165 F in the thickest part of the chicken.
Please allow to rest a bit before getting down and dirty with these smoked jerk chicken. It will be difficult as they look and smell so good! Even your neighbors will be peeking over the fence to maco.