In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Finger licking BBQ chicken recipe.

trinidad bbq chickenCouple weeks back when we were on vacation in  Trinidad we took the drive “down south”  (San Fernando, the second largest city in Trinidad and Tobago) to enjoy some BBQ. Last February when we went down for Carnival I had mentioned to my sister that I felt like eating some good island BBQ so she took us down to Cipero in San Fernando to eat at a BBQ joint run by some Muslims. I’ve now been there 2 times and I’m still to remember the name… the food is so good you tend to blank everything else out!

This BBQ recipe for chicken is not like the one we enjoyed while we were there, however it’s very tasty as it’s infused with many of the typical seasonings we use when cooking meat on the islands. BTW, if you know the BBQ joint I’m speaking about, do leave me a comment below so I can tell others the name.

* You have 2 options when making this BBQ chicken. You can precook it as I’ve done, or you can let it marinate for a couple hours (be sure to make some cuts in the thickest part of the chicken) and grill directly on a medium heat grill. I would even recommend that you grill it a bit on indirect heat to avoid flare-ups. Remember if you don’t precook the chicken it will take much longer to cook on the grill.

Note: If you’re feeding the average Trinbagonian BBQ chicken (any BBQ meat) it’s important to note that we don’t want to see any “red” or “pink”. It’s an immediate turn-off and we probably won’t eat it. However over the years I’ve learned to appreciate a medium done steak.. still trying to convince my dad that it’s good tasting like that.

You’ll Need…

7 chicken legs with back attached. (or about 3-5 lbs chicken pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon thyme
1 scallion chopped
2-3 tablespoon shado beni (or chopped cilantro)
1-2 leaves of Spanish thyme minced

1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes (or fresh sliced scotch bonnet/habanero pepper)
dash of black pepper
1 table spoon ketchup
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 pimento pepper
1 medium onion rough chopped
1 tomato diced
2 cloves galic.
1 lime

* You’ll need about 1 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce.

Note: I didn’t have the items in “bold” above, so I used a tablespoon of the prepared green seasoning paste I have handy in my fridge. it’s made up of basically the same thing.

Start by trimming off any excess fat or skin from the chicken and wash with the juice of the lime (or lemon) and water (drain). Then place in a fairly large pot and toss in all the ingredients mentioned above. On medium to low heat, cover and allow to simmer (gentle) for about 30 minutes. Please ensure it’s a very low simmer as we don’t want to over-boil the chicken pieces. Stir every 10 minutes or so.

trinidad bbq recipe

trinidad chicken bbq recipe

seasoned bbq chicken

You will notice that there will be a lot of liquid formed during simmering. Remove the chicken pieces (dump out the remainign liquid from the pot) and get the grill ready for the final step (the chicken will not look all at that appealing at this point). Try to get the BBQ at about 300 degrees and start grilling the chicken. Since the chicken is already cooked, this point is just to get the meat firm, add some colour and flavour from the BBQ sauce.

steamed chicken for grilling

island bbq chicken

caribbean bbq chicken

how to heat bbq sauce

In the pic above you’ll notice that I have the pan with my BBQ sauce and brush sitting on the BBQ. This allows the sauce to heat up so I don’t brush cold sauce onto the chicken pieces. Within 10-15 minutes your chicken will be ready. Just remember to flip a few times and brush with BBQ sauce to give it all that wonderful sticky BBQ goodness.

bbq chicken legs

trini bbq chicken recipe

trinidad bbq chicken

Back to that BBQ joint on Cipero Street in San Fernando… I would recommend that you stick with the chicken (comes with fries and salad) as I’ve found that the beef and lamb is very tough. And do be careful with the hot sauce that’s provided. If you can’t tolerate much heat, don’t try to follow the locals and pour in a ton of hot sauce. You’re just asking for pain then 🙂 And do try the sort of garlic mayo they have as well.

Happy Cooking


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  1. June 22, 2018 / 7:52 am

    Nice, new way of BBQ.

  2. December 16, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    Finger lickin good Chris. Thanx!

  3. Pamela
    April 14, 2016 / 10:24 am

    Hey Chris, you are such a darling for helping so many of us to love cooking; especially me. I have always found cooking to be time-consuming and with no fun. Standing in a kitchen preparing so much is no fun. Anyway, thanks for helping me, I do try your recipes, the Sheppard pie was so delicious and now the BBQ. Yeah, we are BBQing this weekend, longed for the Summer (well not yet, but soon).
    It’s not just the recipes, that makes life a lot better for me but the FUN WAY THAT YOU DO IT and the way that you embrace your audience. Happy cooking to ME!!!

  4. janet pike
    April 9, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    I love your site, you make me laugh with the stories you tell. I lived in Nassau, Bahamas for 10 yrs and I loved most of the food but have no clue how to make it and you have taught me a lot. I save most of your recipes. Thanks so much. Stay your happy, fun-loving self, we enjoy your recipes and your humor..

    • admin
      April 9, 2016 / 9:32 pm

      thanks for the encouragement Janet.

  5. June 20, 2015 / 11:44 am

    Will try this this recipe.
    It sounds very appetizing

  6. Sharon Mohamed
    August 27, 2014 / 10:42 am

    The name of the place is the “Original Bar B Que Hut”. Address: Cipero Road, Victoria Village,San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

  7. Sebrena
    February 27, 2014 / 4:49 pm

    Hey Chris youake my mouth water lol

  8. February 10, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    Well this is finger licking good

  9. TriniTexan
    January 22, 2014 / 2:20 pm

    Thank you for the Trini-based grilled chicken recipe. While indirect heat grilled chicken is great and satisfies that hurried week-day dinner urge, real BBQ is smoked. I am using your BBQ sauces on my smoked recipes. Exceptionally good on ribs.

    Thank you for keeping us true Trinis.

  10. Albert Charles
    September 28, 2013 / 5:29 pm

    yes ah hungry doing bbq tomorrow

  11. James
    August 16, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    A good approximation of the garlic sauce can be purchased and any good Shawarma outlet near you, if your in Canada. Its too difficult and time consuming to make.

  12. Tutts9223
    March 14, 2012 / 2:12 pm

    i would love to know how they make that garlic dressing they put on the salad.

  13. aneesa deolall
    February 8, 2012 / 9:31 am

    not too sure bout the name, i think its original bbq hut or bbq boys, there are quite a few good bbq spots in trini, theres one in cocoyea called khalids an one on craignish village princes town called bbq boys thees taste jus like the one in cipero i dont know if its a next branch though, they r muslims too an carry the same menu as the 1 in cipero

  14. myrna
    September 28, 2011 / 8:09 pm

    ooh it was good i followed ur steps and i enjoyed it very much ty

  15. Melissa
    August 14, 2011 / 9:24 pm

    it is definitely Original Bar B Que Hut it's good but their standards are dropping!!!

    • Lyana
      January 26, 2013 / 6:08 am

      I totally agree! The one run by some muslims on Cocoyea main road close 2 Corinth junction is much better!

  16. kim
    February 20, 2011 / 6:32 pm

    it is the original barbeque hut

  17. kim
    February 20, 2011 / 6:31 pm

    BARBEQUE BOYS is their name!

  18. aaj
    September 2, 2010 / 11:34 am

    Allyuh actually think that thing they call bbq taste good!!!………….it is boil meat with a ketchup based bbq sauce…….

  19. Shariza
    August 17, 2010 / 6:52 pm

    i know the bbq place that you're talking about…went there a couple months ago while on vacation…the shrimp is quite tastey too! do u by chance know how they make that garlic sauce? i absolutely love it and want to put it on everything! going back to trinidad for christmas and will definitely be going back for some of that bbq!

  20. Jennie
    July 1, 2010 / 10:13 am

    Hi Chris,
    Recipe looks good! Will try it this weekend. Never thought of boiling in the marinade. So what's a good BBQ sauce recipe? Was thinking that instead of dumping the liquid from the boiled chicken I could put that in the mixer and add some ketchup, garlic, honey etc.

  21. Michelle
    June 1, 2010 / 12:12 am

    I know the BBQ spot your talking about and I LOVE THEM!!! I eat it everytime I go on vacation and all I can think about is tasting this bbq every single day. I have yet to taste bbq like it from anywhere. It is well worth the wait!!! I reccommend this place to anyone who loves bbq!!! =)

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:44 am

      We were there late last year and I have to admit that something just wasn't right. Must have been an off day.

  22. October 24, 2009 / 8:47 am

    Peanuts, Yes I’m sure you can put it in the oven. However I would season (as I mention above), but add the BBQ sauce to the seasoning and not pre cook. Then I would cover while in the oven for half the time (it will let out natural juices) and then remove the cover for the final half to cook off the juice and to help give it a nice BBQ colour. BTW I would probably cook it at about 375 degrees.

    Chennette, I was told the same thing about the lamb by friends who go there often. The chicken absolutely rocks for me.

    happy cooking

    .-= Chris De La Rosa´s last blog ..The 2009 Ancaster Home Show. =-.

  23. October 21, 2009 / 8:37 pm

    I am new but i love spicey food. Can i put the chicken in the oven rather than the griller?
    .-= peanutts´s last blog ..Fish Parcel ( Masbondi) =-.

  24. October 21, 2009 / 6:03 pm

    i think it's D Original BBQ Hut…I've had the lamb sometimes when it's not bad…I think Trinis sometimes tolerate tougher red meat than we should 🙂 overcooking…garlic sauce on everything is excellent!
    .-= Chennette´s last blog ..Last minute surge for Divali =-.

    • Ruthie
      May 23, 2012 / 3:47 am

      Chris, do you have a receipe for garlic sauce? I just can't seem to make the same as the street vendors!!!

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