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How to make Bodeans Jerk Chicken

If you haven't been to a Bodeans, chances are you don't live in London. If you do live in London and haven't been to a Bodeans, chances are you're a vegetarian. If you do live in London, have not been to a Bodeans and are not a vegetarian, what's wrong with you? The place is genuinely superb. To celebrate March Madness American College Basketball tournament, which will be shown in the Bodean’s restaurants throughout March and April, we spoke to owner Andre Blais on how to make one of the best dishes, the jerk chicken. There's 20 ingredients. It's going to be ace.

Ingredients

1 Scotch Bonnet roughly chopped

4 Jalapeños roughly chopped

130g Spanish onions roughly chopped

2 bunches of Spring Onions roughly chopped

20g Garlic

40g of fresh flat leaf Parsley roughly chopped

40g of fresh coriander roughly chopped

45g of grated fresh ginger

50g of course Sea salt

10g of fresh roughly chop

5g of ground allspice

2g black pepper

1g ground cinnamon

1g ground nutmeg

5g ground cloves

The juice of 1 squeezed lime

20g vegetable oil

40g dark brown molasses

35g dark rum

35g soy sauce

True Jerk Chicken is based on two main ingredients – Scotch Bonnets (habaneros) and allspice berries. In this recipe I have reduced the Scotch bonnets so the dish is not as mouth scorching as they traditionally eat it in the Caribbean. Its still very spicy and great with grilled corn & coleslaw, served cold the next day in salads or simply with rice and a cold beer.

To make the marinade simply:

• Put all the prepared dry ingredients into a food processor and blend

• Gradually add the wet ingredients to form a paste

If you are using chicken with the skin on (recommended) many Jerk houses “stab” the chicken a few times to let the marinade penetrate deep into the meat. Massage the marinade into the chicken and store in a freezer bag in the fridge overnight. Boil the remainder of the marinade with some BBQ sauce to use later for basting.

Traditionally the jerk chicken is cooked in a smoke pit or often in a makeshift BBQ made from an old oil drums balanced on bricks over a smoky pile of pimento wood. You can bake it in an oven but is always better smoked in a BBQ kettle using the indirect cooking process with some wood chips.

We slow smoke our chicken over oak for up to 2 ½ at a low temperature of 120oC. We then chargrill the cooked chicken to crisp up the skin, mopping (basting) regularly with the sauce.

Bodean’s BBQ will be celebrating the biggest American college basketball tournament of the year, NCAA “March Madness”, showing the big games of the tournament on their screens at each venue from 19th March to the final four on April 8th.

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