Jamaican Jerk Spice Paste:
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 scallions
- 1 tbsp allspice berries (ground is okay too)
- 1 tbsp black pepper corns
- 2 tsp dried thyme (fresh is even better)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground sea salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- dash hot sauce
- 1/4 tsp chopped habanero or scotch bonnet pepper with seeds removed (if you cannot handle heat, you can omit this part, but please still add the dash of hot sauce)
- zest and juice of one large lime (don’t skip this step, the lime zest adds a lot of flavor)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Puree all the ingredients in the order they are listed, gradually adding the olive oil at the end. Puree until the paste reaches a uniform consistency.
How to Prepare and Grill a Spatchcock Chicken:
1) Butterflying the chicken: I’d recommend buying the chicken at a butcher where you can ask them to do this for you! If you don’t have them do it, you will need to use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and then press down on the chicken with the palm of your hand to help flatten the bird.
2) Use your finger and loosen the skin on the bird, but be careful not to tear it. Rub the spice paste under the skin all over the chicken and then repeat on the outside of the skin. Cover the bird or put in a ziplock and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
3) GRILLING: Preheat your grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Grill the bird, pressing it as flat as possible and flipping/arranging every so often so no side gets too charred (at least every 10 minutes). Total cooking time should be between 35-40 minutes. After the bird reaches an internal temp of 170 at its thickest point, remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting so it has time to reabsorb juices.
“Spatchcocked” is really just a funny way of saying grilled butterflied chicken. Much like you need to butterfly a Cornish game hen (which is a small chicken) so it will lay flat on the grill, you need to do the same with a whole chicken. Removing the backbone allows the bird to lay flat so the bird can cook more evenly on the grill.