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Friday, April 1, 2011

Fire Day Friday: Island Beach Chicken

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
Source:  www.nibblemethis.com

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. 


~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

CHRIS THIS LOOKS AND SOUNDS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Love all the onions and peppers. No excuses necessary for a kitchen gadget that makes that awesome paste!

Jenn said...

DUDE!!! LOVE the picture!! One time, when I was a kid, I had this crazy idea that I was going to learn how to surf....uhm, did I mention I was raised in Nebraska? Not too many places to pick that skill up at, believe me!!

Love the chicken!! I bet the flavor is absolutely amazing!

Chris said...

I know, hilarious, isn't it? That look still hasn't come back around in style yet, lol.

Jennifurla said...

You are an 80's hottie! ha

Love this recipe, and the color. I need to make friends with my grill again.

Martha said...

Looks scrumptious, I'll have to try it sometime! Thanks for sharing!

Parsley Sage said...

Oh man. I live in Cayman and your jerk looks like it could contend with the best of ours. Well done.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can taste the spice from here Chris. I love your old photo too. You an island boy.

Martha (MM) said...

Totally Rad Brah!

Ana Powell said...

Great 80`s picture.
Looking forward to barbecue time. lovely chicken recipe ♥

Denise said...

Looks awesome, gonna have to try it !!

Big Dude said...

Chris - your grilled chicken always looks perfect. My folks always got it pretty dark and I still prefer it that way

Robyn Medlin, Culinary Life Adventures said...

Chris, this recipe looks awesome AND I love the photo! Hilarious!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Awesome pic dude :) I so remember when taco bell had the 79, 89 & 99 menu...those were the days! This chicken sounds a helluva lot better than taco bell :) It sounds amazing, actually! Totally awesome dude, rad dish :)

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

This looks fantastic. I am going to make this and slather it on some tofu this week!!! Love the throwback pic :-)

food-fire said...

I dig the chicken, dude! Looks like just enough heat to keep it interesting and enough citrus to balance the heat. Perfect.

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