feasting at home: Grilled Jerk Chicken and Peach Skewers

July 21, 2014

Grilled Jerk Chicken and Peach Skewers


When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name 
is safe in their mouth.
Jess C. Scott

Our grill has been working overtime lately, allowing our old house (sans air conditioning), to stay a little bit cooler during our heat wave.  This recipe for grilled jerk chicken skewers with peaches, has become a new favorite around here.  It screams of summer with its bold Caribbean flavors and sweet tart juicy peaches- tender, ripe and dripping with nectar. The spicy heat of the chicken is soooooo incredibly good with the peaches --you simply must try this!  My husband Brian, I admit, was a little skeptical when I handed him the skewers to grill - he's not a huge fan of cooked fruit- but I'll tell you what, when it came time to eat, those skewers disappeared so fast, I had to laugh. He totally devoured them. So, get yourself some peaches and get grilling. Tis' the season …for both!!



To make the marinade, blend everything in the blender. Don't neglect the spices, they really add the depth and intrigue needed to balance out the flavors. Allspice is especially important.

I could not find scotch bonnet peppers so I subbed 1 habenero and 1 jalapeño. Chicken was 2 stars in spiciness. The next time I used 2 habeneros, and it bumped it up to 3 stars, perfect for us. To mellow out the heat a bit- use 2 jalapeños.



I recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. They are more tender and juicy than breasts which tend to dry out. Cut thin into ¾ to 1 inch chunks, pour the marinade over, and let sit at least 30 min, but preferably longer, 1 hour or  up to 3 hours.


Slice the peaches into wedges, about ¾ an inch thick.

Using gloves ( the marinade is spicy) thread chicken and peaches on to soaked skewers.



Then grill the skewers on medium high heat until all sides are seared nicely. Meat likes to have grill marks, so make sure to get these! Otherwise, it can look unappetizing. After there are grill marks,  turn heat all the way down to low, cover and continue grilling until chicken is cooked through. You could place on a piece of foil, to prevent over charring. 



Give the skewers a nice good sear on all sides on medium high heat. 


Then place the skewers on a bed of  foil, turning up the edges to catch the all the yummy juices.  You want to be sure to use a good quality, heavy duty foil like Reynolds Wrap, that will hold up on the grill.
Turn heat to low, and cover grill to cook all the way through without burning.


Place the skewers on a platter and drizzle  the "cooked" juices over the skewers.








Serve on a platter and enjoy outside!!!









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Grilled Jerk Chicken and Peach skewers
A flavorful Caribbean style chicken, paired with peaches, grilled on skewers.
Makes 12 skewers ( serves 4 people)
Ingredients
*a pair of kitchen gloves ( marinade is spicy) for sensitive hands
*12 soaked skewers
2 lbs chicken thigh (boneless, skinless)-
3-4 peaches
handful of cilantro for garnish

Marinade Ingredients:
⅓  C olive oil ( or vegetable)
⅓ Cup soy sauce
⅓  cup lime juice
⅓  cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
8-10 cloves garlic
⅓  C brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Scotch bonnet peppers, or habaneros, or jalapeños with seeds, chopped in half
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves ( or 1 T dry)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 T plus 1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 T ground ginger or ⅛ cup fresh sliced ginger

Instructions:
Soak the skewers. Cut the thicken thighs into 1 inch chunks and place in a bowl.
Place all the marinade ingredients in the blender, and blend until relatively smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Let sit 30 minutes or  up to 1 hour. ( The longer your marinate, the spicier they will become.)
Pre heat the grill to medium high.
Slice the peaches, to ¾ inch thick wedges.
Using gloves, skewer the chicken and peaches. The marinade will naturally get on the peaches which is a good thing.
Grill until all sides are nicely seared with grill marks. Turn heat down to LOW, place on a piece of heavy duty foil, folding up the edges to catch the drippings, and close the lid, letting chicken cook all the way through, until done.
Place on a platter, drizzle "cooked" marinade from the foil over the skewers, and sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy with a big salad.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 skewers