Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jerk Chicken with Grilled Banana and Red Onion Salsa | America's Test Kitchen

It was very hard for me to not yell "mother F'er this is some damn good chicken" when I had my first bite of this, but we had guests and that would have been a little too white trash for even me. This could quite possibly be the best grilled chicken I have ever had. Seriously, no joke.

I loved all the flavors of the rub/marinade and absolutely loved the grilled banana salsa that was made to go with it, as did HL, but it seems the fruit salsa was a little to girly for the men, who preferred to have their jerk chicken, sans fru fru salsa. Whatevs. I think when HL reads this post she will concur that the salsa was awesome.

1 bunch scallions, chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled
2 tsp ground all spice
1 tbs dried thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp mild or robust molasses
2 habanero chiles, stemmed and halved (I used 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers instead because of my pussy lips)
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 lbs bone in skin on chicken thighs, legs or breasts (I used skinless boneless chicken breasts to cut down on fat, plus I'm not a big fan of eating chicken off the bone)

1 red onion, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
3 bananas peeled and halved lengthwise
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp dark rum (optional)
lime wedges for serving

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Puree the scallions, garlic, allspice, thyme, salt, molasses, chiles, and oil in a food processor or blender until almost smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Wearing latex gloves (if using habaneros, not needed with jalapenos) and working with one piece of chicken at a time, slide your finger between the skin and the meat to loosen the skin and then rub 1 tbsp of the spice mixture under the skin of each piece and transfer the chicken to a gallon sized zipper lock bag. Pour the remaining spice mixture over the chicken, seal the bag, and use your hands to squeeze and turn the bag so that the chicken pieces are covered with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

2. Remove the chicken from the bag and arrange it skin side down over the hot part of the grill and cook the chicken until well browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the cooler part of the grill, cover and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until very dark and the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees and the thighs register 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 15 to 22 minutes.

3. FOR THE SALSA: Meanwhile, brush both sides of the onion rounds and banana with the oil and sprinkle with the cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Grill the onion over the hottest part of the grill, covered until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the onion to the cooler part of the grill and place the bananas cut side down on the hottest part of the grill. Grill the bananas, covered, until browned in spots, about 2 minutes per side.

4. Transfer the onion and banana to a cutting board and cool slightly. Whisk the lime juice, mint, brown sugar and rum (if using) together in a medium bowl the sugar has dissolved. Roughly chop the onion and bananas, add them to the bowl, and toss to coat. Season the salsa with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the chicken with the lime wedges and salsa.

WHAT YOU CAN DO AHEAD OF TIME: The chicken can be prepared through step 1 and refrigerated for up to 36 hours. The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for p to 2 days. Bring the salsa to room temperature before serving and adjust the consistency and seasoning with lime juice and rum (if using).

Rating = So God Damn Good


Patricia Scarpin said...

JB, this chicken looks incredibly delicious - I love how nicely browned it is. Great recipe!

wheresmymind said...

Bananas eh? I love 'em grilled so much with Peanutbutter!!