Monday, April 4, 2011

Juicy Jamaican Jerk Grilled Chicken with Grilled Vegetables


     Welcome to grilling season!  Who doesn't like to to grill the minute it gets warm enough to be outside without dressing in layers?  This weekend we got our little charcoal grill out and fired it up to make some grilled chicken.  I wanted to try my hand at a new and different marinade that would fully flavor the chicken in only about 4 hours.  Ideally, I like to marinate meats for about 24 hours, but I only had a few hours so I needed something intense and of course, delicious!  So, this is basically a marinade recipe. I can't take credit for the grilling, because my husband did all of the grilling here.  Didn't he do a great job?

     I wanted the base of this marinade to be what I always find to be a good combination: olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.  I wanted to add more spice so I remembered that I had a jar of McCormick Jamaican Jerk seasoning I knew that would hit the spot.  This particular jerk seasoning isn't too spicy but very flavorful, which is perfect for something that needs a lot of help, like chicken!  With the addition of some fresh "lemon" thyme that one of my best friends -who also loves to cook- gave me and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, this marinade was complete.  (I have to tell you that I didn't really measure anything I'm "guesstimating" for the recipe below...please remember this while assembling!  You should use your best judgement for the garlic and seasoning to your own taste.)  Add some cayenne or hot sauce if you want a little more kick!

     I like to marinate my meats in a large freezer bag and just dump everything in the bag and smoosh it together.  (No bowls or clean-up required!)  That way it's easy to distribute everything by working the marinade ingredients all around to get it all incorporated together.  Turn it a couple of times while it sits in the fridge and get the bag back out about 15 minutes before putting it on the grill, so the meat won't be as cold when you start to cook it.  It cooks more evenly that way.  If you forget any of this, no big deal.  Grilling should be easy and fun!!  I served it up with delicious and healthy, grilled orange bell peppers and onions with delicious and not so healthy homemade macaroni and cheese....recipe for that soon!

     Please, try this marinade on your chicken or pork for a juicy and flavorful meal that everyone will love!  It's the perfect addition to your spring and summer get out your flip flops and fire up the grill!

Happy Grilling :)

Jamaican Jerk Grilled Chicken

(We had) 2 thin chicken breasts and 3 legs

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 large lemon, juiced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. McCormick Jamaican Jerk seasoning

2 tsp. fresh thyme

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Mix together with chicken in a freezer bag and marinade for at least 4 hours.
Take out of bag and grill.

Grilled Peppers and Onions

Brush olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper on sliced bell peppers and sweet onion.  Grill along side your meat.  Easy as that!

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