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Caribbean Chicken

Spice up your grilling with something tropical


Over the past few years, Caribbean seasonings and cooking has become increasingly popular, particularly Jerk. All regions of the world take advantage of local ingredients and here you find lots of fresh herbs, spices, and peppers. But there's more to it than just hot and spicy food. If you have ever traveled through the islands, or know someone from there, then you know that it's a lifestyle. Caribbean culture is full of lively music, dancing, fun, and good food.

The most important recipe I think people need to get from the Caribbean is Jamaican Jerk. This is more than just a recipe; it's a style of food. Jerk seasonings can be used in most recipes, but it is specifically intended for grilling.

The term jerk is derived from the same place we get jerky. It refers to a sauce or rub used to flavor meats before cooking. In this case, jerk is typically a hot mixture based on Scotch Bonnet Peppers (very hot). It can come in a dry rub, wet rub, sauce or marinade. The other ingredients usually include allspice, garlic, scallions, thyme, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Regardless of what you are using the jerk seasoning on, it needs to be applied early enough to sink into the meat. When making jerk chicken, make sure it is rubbed into the meat, under the skin and over every part; that includes getting it inside whole birds. Also be sure that it is evenly distributed and remember not to let the jerk seasoning get anywhere near your eyes.

As for the grilling part, it's pretty basic. Always have your grill good and hot. Cook the chicken quickly and evenly. Have everything ready and serve up your Jerk Chicken hot and with plenty of Daiquiris.

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