I’d love to tell you that I call this Island Beach Chicken because it reminded me of my sun bleached days surfing the East coast of Florida. Can’t you just see the flickering orange light of a bonfire, crackling against the sound of the crashing night surf? The warm sea breeze carries the smell of spicy wood grilled chicken in the air along with the chatter and laughter of a handful of weary surfers.
Reality Check: While we did spend many a day chasing the best waves up and down the coast, we NEVER ate like that. We were broke (duh, we surfed all day), it was late, and we ate off the $1 menu at Taco Bell. (Actually back then it was a $.79, $.89, $.99 menu). Yeah, this is really me circa 1984.
I call it Island Beach Chicken because it mimics my favorite jerk chicken and just about any other chicken from island beachy destinations like Jamaica, the Bahamas, Virgin Islands or Barbados. They all use a spicy, highly seasoned mojo and grill over live fire.
Island Beach Chicken
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 8 bone in thighs, 4 leg quarters, whatever….)
1 ea roasted red bell pepper (I used a jarred pepper which is about 1/4 cup, real ones yield more)
1 ea habanero pepper, seeded and diced (wear gloves, trust me)
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 ea green onion, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup oil
Like I said, the beachy chicken dishes almost all have a mojo paste thing going on. Take all of the ingredients except the chicken and put in your blender, food processor or Magic Bullet (What? it was a gift)
and blend/process/bulletize until smooth.
Marinate the chicken with the mixture for 4-8 hours.
Set up your grill for a medium heat (350f) direct cook. That takes about 1 chimney full of Kingsford Charcoal for my grill. (The grill I use other than our two Big Green Eggs)
Grill for 8-12 minutes per side. I spend much more time turning these throughout the cooking time compared to a steak when I say the less turning the better.
|Don’t be afraid of a little char.|
Remove when the thighs are 170f and the breasts are 160f.
Wow, this was totally tubular and awesome to the max!
Seriously though, the marinade is spectacular. It brings all of the flavor of jerk chicken without all of the burning heat.