Jamaican Jerk Rub

Everyone who's had a well-marinated jerk chicken grilled over natural lump charcoal has raved about its complex, slightly spicy, flavor that complements chicken marvelously (especially dark meat — we all know thighs are the best pieces).

Of course, when we made it at Steve & Shane's barbecue and there were a couple middle-aged gay men there, they had to make those uncomfortable sexually-tinged remarks their kind are given to, such as "I want to know which of these young chickens jerked the meat! hee hee hee." I raised my eyebrow witheringly. I think I was also holding a big knife. Anyway, on to the recipes:

  • This from GlobalGourmet is probably the closest to what we make. Fresh thyme, either from your garden or from an herb purveyor at the local farmer's market is essential. We also got these marvelous green onions from Nichols Farm that they called "Egyptian Multipliers." They had a powerful onion taste tinged with sweetness and an almost gingery quality.
  • Naturally, we consulted several other recipes such as these and more to figure out just what was essential, or not, and to discern what are sort of bastard ingredients like white onions or jalapeños.

"Jerk", it turns out, actually refers to tenderizing the meat and encouraging absorption of the marinade, specifically by poking it all over with a fork. So get yourself a fresh chicken from the market, cut it into pieces, and jerk away. I use about ¼ cup of the rub for a whole chicken. Then, I splash about that same amount or more of adark rum over it and let it marinate at least 4 hours if not up to 48. Although a gas grill is acceptable, nothing tastes quite as good as wood or real wood charcoal. Briquettes, of course, are unacceptable.

No comments: