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Now that the promise of spring weather is at hand I have been thinking of dining al fresco {which may be a bit premature} but these images from The Inside Story made me anxious to begin planning.

Image via The Inside Story~via pinterest

 

Image via The Inside Story~via tumblr

Image via Nine & Sixteen

This is the first spring I can remember when I am eager to have warm (not HOT) days and cool evenings.  I am a cool weather person by nature but this past winter has been very cool by Southern California standards and I guess I’m ready for some fun in the sun {slight exaggeration since I’m a fair skinned red-head and try to avoid direct sun exposure}.

With that in mind I figured I better get some grilling recipes ready and what better time to ask hubby to be the guinea pig on some new meals?!

Okay, I know this isn’t a guinea pig but I couldn’t resist the cute little guy with his petunia hat!  Image via Content in a Cottage

I visited one of my favorite food sites, Epicurious, and came up with this recipe (one of their top rated/reviewed chicken dishes.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Image by Ericka McConnell via Epicurious

Grilled Jerk Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

For jerk marinade:

  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 to 5 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanera chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For chicken:

  • 4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3 pounds), halved crosswise
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make marinade:
Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Marinate and grill chicken:
Divide chicken pieces and marinade between 2 sealable plastic bags. Seal bags, pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade. Put bags of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, 1 day.

Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.

To cook chicken using a charcoal grill:
Open vents on bottom of grill and on lid. Light a large chimney of charcoal briquettes (about 100) and pour them evenly over 1 side of bottom rack (you will have a double or triple layer of charcoal).

When charcoal turns grayish white and you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds, sear chicken in batches on lightly oiled rack over coals until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Move chicken as seared to side of grill with no coals underneath, then cook, covered with lid, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes more.

To cook chicken using a gas grill:
Preheat burners on high, then adjust heat to moderate. Cook chicken until well browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust heat to low and cook chicken, covered with lid, until cooked through, about 25 minutes more.

Serve chicken with pineapple/papaya salsa.

Cooks’ note: · If you can’t grill, you can roast chicken in 2 large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans in upper and lower thirds of a 400°F oven, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, 40 to 45 minutes total. {This is the dreary/rainy day alternative}