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Photo: Sarp Kizir/Apt613

Summer Recipes: A love story about marinades—BBQ Jerk Chicken

By Sarp Kizir on May 18, 2018

Sarp Kizir, host of the Roughchop Ottawa Podcast, is Ottawa’s riotous merry-making everywhere culture man. He is a relevant voice of discovery and reclamation.

Photo: Sarp Kizir/Apt613

Hello Apt613ers!

I’m back with this week’s Foodie Friday post and boy do I have another whole damn feast for you, once again! The food and the wine that are featured today are so meant to be, they could be considered, shall I say, ‘kindred spirits’.

With great flames comes great flavours, and with this meal comes a beautiful bottle of wine from the LCBO that I am proud to say I tracked down with the help of a little crowd sourcing on the Internet.

To my attention, came the name of this 2015 Riesling from the brand called Tawse which is bottled by Limestone Ridge-North Estate for a price tag of $24.25. A little on the more expensive side than usual but I’m not regretting it one bit. This bottle offers real bang for your buck. As much as I’m going to deep dive into telling you how well this wine went with my BBQ jerk chicken, you could just as much enjoy it with a friend, on the edge of a river bank while you have a light picnic with a nice sharp cheese and some prosciutto. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Photo: Sarp Kizir/Apt613

Ok now back to the BBQ. T’was the day we were all celebrating mothers, and all through social media land, people posted about their dear moms while I marinated two and a half chickens with a bottle of Tiger Malt in my hand. Why the Tiger Malt you ask? Because I wanted some in my jerk sauce mix. I knew I wanted to head to Jamaica with my flavours, but I didn’t want to leave Barbados in the sticks. Jamaica brings the heat, but Barbados brings the sweetness, doing all this so I can bring to you a recipe that is special in its uniqueness.

It’s a week later and I’m still feeling the sunshine that I experienced on this day and in this food. Riesling and jerk chicken go together really well. Take my word for it my friends.

Recipe for Roughchop Ottawa’s Special Blend Jerk Sauce marinade:

  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground all spice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp granulated cane sugar
  • 1 spoonful of honey (I recommend a dark buckwheat honey)
  • 200ml Tiger Malt Brew
  • 200ml Coconut water
  • 1 cup of mango, pineapple, orange or apricot nectar.
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 whole scotch bonnet peppers.
  • ½ tbsp of Salt and pepper.

Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a deep brown, completely combined liquid, and now put all your chicken in ziplock bags and pour the marinade in until the chickens are all nice and covered.

Island chefs always choose to spatchcock, or butterfly the chicken before they cook it. This makes it easier to handle on the grill when time comes. It also helps cook the chicken evenly and get a nice char across the entire body of the bird. Marinade the chicken anywhere between four hours and up to two days before grilling. Turn the ziplock bags often so that the marinade can affect the whole bird.

Photo: Sarp Kizir/Apt613

Grilling instructions:

Look at the picture of the charcoal stack I built and copy that when building your own BBQ fire. Light that baby up and then make sure the coals are grey with bright red glow spots throughout the pile. When coals are ready, push them to one side of the BBQ so that your indirect cooking process can begin.

With a clean and greased grill placed over the top the coals, you are ready to cook some jerk chicken with me. Initially, I like to place the chicken directly over the flames to get a solid caramelized crust on the meat before cooking through to finished tenderness. This adds flavours, a lot of flavours.

Photo: Sarp Kizir/Apt613

Remember to keep a bowl of the marinade sauce on the side so that you can brush the meat as it cooks. Once you have achieved a dark, almost burnt char on the skin of the chicken, take the meat off direct heat and then place it on the opposite side of the grill away from the coals. Place lid on the BBQ, and let it do its thing.

The chicken should take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour to cook all the way through. Since you are cooking with indirect heat and using lots of sauce, you won’t lose moisture in the breast portions. If you have separate breast portions, feel free to take them off at this point and let the rest of the bird cook for some extra time.

I would highly recommend a good hour and a half for red meat on indirect heat, while you continuously sauce it up. That’s how you will be able to achieve the deep rich and luscious flavour profile that I was going for with my final product. I hope that is enough to entice you to invite Jerk Sauce into your life a bit more often. Super easy and super delicious, and paired with this bottle of 2015 Riesling, you can’t go wrong for any occasion.

Remember you can always send me a direct message to talk to me about grilling! Follow me on social media @roughchopottawa and I will be there to answer any questions you have. Happy cooking, everyone!

Looking for more recipe ideas? “Hello My Name Is…” was a weekly summer column by Apt613 contributor She Who Must Be Obeyed. Every week stars one key seasonal ingredient in a new and original recipe. For your bookmarks, 15 of those recipes are found here. Happy cooking and bon appetit!