Over the years, I have grilled, smoked, baked and added fire to many recipes in the backyard. One dish that keeps getting requested by my wife is Big Green Egg jerk chicken.
Recently, to help celebrate my wife’s birthday, I whipped up a batch of jerk chicken and this time around wanted to share the recipe with you.
There are few dishes I make that pack more flavour into the final product than jerk chicken. For almost a full day, the spicy smell of pepper is stuck in your nose and on your hands. This is not a bad thing.
Also since I can’t stand online recipes that have a 1,000 word story added before the vital information, here is the recipe.
Full disclosure, this recipe is based off of Matty Matheson’s Jerk Chicken.
Big Green Egg Jerk Chicken
What you need to know before you start:
Like any marinade, the more time, the more flavour. While you can get away with a few hours, I like to do my Jerk for 24 hours plus.
This particular recipe serves two adults and two kids. Add more chicken if needed.
Prep time is about 30-45 minutes. Blending is fun.
Cook time is approx. one hour on Big Green Egg + 10 minutes of rest.
Wash hands a lot.
- ½ cup canola oil, divided into 2
- 1 bunch of scallions (I save some for garnish)
- 7 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, chopped into big pieces
- ½ red onion chopped into big pieces
- 1 decent sized piece ginger, peeled
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- 6 tsp ground allspice (fresh ground ideally)
- 3 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped keeping some seeds
- 2 banana peppers, chopped keeping some seeds
- 3 scotch bonnet peppers, chopped keeping some seeds
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped keeping some seeds
- ½ bunch fresh thyme
- ½ cup of orange juice
- 4 whole chicken legs (original asked for 6-8 legs but I saved a jar of marinade for something else. Our kids are not eating the Jerk yet, but when they do, 6-8 legs will suffice.
- Allspice berries
- Wood chips
- Bay leaves
- Large Ziploc bag
Mix and match the peppers and the level of heat you prefer. Just be sure to keep the scotch bonnets. From the videos I have watched online, orange ones seem to be the most authentic.
Place half the of the canola oil plus the scallions, garlic, onion, and ginger in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Then place the soy sauce, ground allspice, nutmeg, peppers and thyme in the blender with the remaining oil and orange juice just to help the blender go. Blend until smooth, then transfer to the same bowl with the onion mixture. If you have a giant blender feel free to try it all at once.
Place the chicken on a cutting board and score the skin side. Then put chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the mixture in and coat completely. Squish it all around and seal the bag trying to get all the air out. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Here you see the marinade being poured in the bag and covering the chicken.
Wash hands again.
Smells good right? The smell of the ginger, garlic and peppers go way up into your sinuses.
Whenever you are in the fridge next, squish it around some more. You want the flavour everywhere. Wash hands again. Just to be safe.
Next day, fill a bucket with water and soak a few handfuls of wood chips, allspice berries and bay leaves. I use apple wood and the allspice berries/bay leaves combo to fake the pimento wood smell that is used in authentic Jerk Chicken cooking.
Fire up your Big Green Egg (or your BBQ) and set it up for indirect cooking. Adjust to lock it in at 300 F, add wood chip mixture and wait until you see some smoke.
Add the chicken, wiping off any excess marinade, and smoke skin side up until charred on the outside but cooked in the middle (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should read 165°F), about 50 minutes.
Then take chicken off, adjust Big Green Egg for direct cooking and finish the chicken off with a few minutes of open flame. Char is a good thing. Get that skin crispy.
Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes. Then take your cleaver or heaviest knife you have and chop the legs into 4-5 pieces. The chicken should be juicy and smoked to the bone.
That’s it. Wasn’t that some tasty shit? Hopefully you remembered to not wipe your eyes.
Until next time.