The Navin Johnson


I am particularly fond of island food. I suppose it makes me feel like I’m on vacation even in the middle of the week in Augusta, Ga.  The main problem for me is the seemingly endless list of ingredients in traditional jerk recipes and the fact that most store-bought varieties taste like cough medicine. All of that has changed!

Cook’s Illustrated recently dissected jerk recipes and decided there are very few essential ingredients:  allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnet chiles.  Of course, you have to have garlic and instead of brown sugar molasses!  The real trick is to cram some marinade under the skin to penetrate the meat and allow for a very short ~ 1 to 2 hour marinade. Then alls you have to do is fire up the grill and enjoy. 

I served with a plantain and red onion salsa.

Rough recipe:
1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
1/4 c oil
2-3 scotch bonnets
8 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp molasses
1-2 tbsp allspice

Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth. Rub all over chicken and under the skin. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Heat grill to high. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium low turning frequently for about 20 minutes more.


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