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Are you looking for a new, healthy chicken recipe for the grill?  One different from the basic barbecued bird, but doesn’t include crazy, hard to find ingredients?  Well, I’ve got the solution for you.  This dish was awesome.  I don’t like throwing the word awesome around, but very appropriate for this amazing grilling recipe. 

Don’t be intimated by the longer than usual list of ingredients; most are repetitive, and pantry staples.  The spice rub makes the meat pop with great flavor, and you can make double, triple, or even quadruple batch of it and store in an airtight container.  One step done for the next time you whip up my Jerk Chicken, and believe me, once you try this recipe I’m sure there will be a next time

If you aren’t taking a summer vacation to the islands this year, then this recipe will transport you to the beach all while sitting in your lawn chair.  Add a cold, frosty, fruity drink and you’ll be as close to the tropics as you can without an airplane (for added effect turn on one of those calming ocean noise makers).

Did I say yum yet?  Yum.

Also a gluten and dairy free recipe when using proper ingredient substitutions suggested below with an *.

GRILLED JERK CHICKEN with MANGO SALSA

serves 8

Marinade:

  • 3.5 lbs BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS, or CHICKEN THIGHS
  • 5 cloves GARLIC, roughly chopped
  • 1 small ONION, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp SOY SAUCE*, LOWER SODIUM
  • 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 1 tbsp RED WINE VINEGAR
  • 2 LIMES, JUICED
  • 1 JALAPENO PEPPER or SERRANO CHILE, roughly chopped (stem and seeds removed)
  • 2 tbsp HONEY
  • 3 medium GREEN ONIONS (green parts only)

Jerk Spice Rub:

  • 2 tsp GINGER, GROUND
  • 2 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
  • 1 tsp NUTMEG, GROUND
  • 1 tsp ALLSPICE, GROUND
  • 2 tsp THYME, DRIED
  • 1 1/2 tsp BLACK PEPPER, GROUND
  • 1 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 1 tbsp BROWN SUGAR
  • 1/8 tsp CLOVES, GROUND
  • 1/2 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER, GROUND, (or to taste)

1 recipe Mango Salsa (recipe below)

*Gluten-Free option: Use wheat free Tamari Soy Sauce

1. For the Spice Rub: Mix together all the spice rub ingredients (setting aside 1 Tbsp for grilling).

2. For the Marinade: Blend all marinade ingredients together (except chicken) in a blender or food processor until smooth.

3. In a shallow, glass dish pour just enough marinade to cover the bottom. Place chicken pieces in the marinade and rub with the larger amount of spice rub.  Then carefully pour remaining marinade over the top, making sure all chicken is coated well.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (I marinated 8 hours – placing chicken in marinade the morning of grilling day).

4. Before grilling, remove chicken from marinade and rub with reserved 1 Tbsp spice rub. Oil a hot, indoor or outdoor grill (medium-high heat) and grill chicken for 6-8 minutes per side or until no longer pink, and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees (insert thermometer into thickest, meaty part of the chicken).

5. For the Mango Salsa (recipe below): Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve (salsa can be made ahead – in the morning while starting the chicken marinating, or a few hours ahead of serving). May have leftover salsa for chip dipping pleasure.

Mango Salsa:

  • 1 cup BLACK BEANS, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup RED ONION, diced
  • 1/2 medium RED BELL PEPPER, diced
  • 1 RED TOMATO, diced
  • 2 JALAPENO PEPPERS, diced (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2 MANGOES, peeled, chopped
  • 1 LIME, JUICED
  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 2-3 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 1/4 tsp SUGAR
  • 2-3 tbsp FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

6. Serve grilled jerk chicken on a large platter topped with fresh mango salsa. Serving size: 1 piece chicken (about 4-5 ounces) with about 1/2 cup salsa. Makes 8 servings.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (includes salsa): 300 calories, 5g fat, 21g carb, 3g fiber, 13g sugar, 35g protein

I served sautéed chili-lime corn, tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese wheat quesadillas and avocado puree with my Jerk Chicken last night.  Here was my cousin Klarc’s plate (not the most professional picture, no one is perfect, you still get the jist of it):

Have fun with this one!

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