Sunday, August 19, 2018
Cooking

Add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

By Matt Brooks

Burgers and dogs may be the traditional staples of a cookout, but when you’re craving something more than meat on bun, a well-assembled skewer is a colorful showstopper on the grill.

It’s scientifically proven that food tastes better when it’s served on a stick, especially when that stick features alternating bites of grilled, spicy chicken and sweet, fruity goodness. (Disclaimer: This is not a scientific fact, but your taste buds might tell you otherwise.)

Jerk marinades can rely on different peppers for heat, such as Scotch bonnet, jalapeno and habanero. Here, we’re rolling with the latter, which delivers a perky punch without overwhelming the thyme, scallion and allspice that round out a typical jerk flavor profile. About those hot peppers: We recommend wearing food-safe gloves when seeding them. Fresh lime juice adds brightness and tang.

Cutting slightly larger chunks of chicken (1?½-inch pieces) helps the meat stay juicy on the grill, even as its edges take on a nice char. We like to use the pineapple chunks as stoppers at either end of each skewer.

Reserve some of the marinade before the raw chicken goes into it; that way, you can use the reserved marinade as a sauce for drizzling.

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