Juicy grilled chicken with fresh spicy-savory-sweet Caribbean flavor (230 calories or 2 WW points)
This Caribbean marinade is rich, complex, and yet refreshing—a spicy-savory-sweet flavor reminiscent of jerk seasoning, with very little hassle and no hard-to-find ingredients. It’s a delicious departure from the old standby chicken marinades—lemon herb and Asian, for two, with the earthy warmth of allspice, savory thyme and garlic, sweet brown sugar, gentle heat from jalapeño, and bright, tart lime. I love the layering of each flavor and the way even a quick soak in the marinade can transform your grilled chicken from good to great.
The easiest way to prepare the Caribbean marinade is in a food processor, but if you don’t have one, it’s possible to make it by very, very finely mincing your ingredients (the scallions, garlic, and jalapeño) and whisking them together in a bowl. Let your chicken marinate in the mixture (which is thick, almost like a paste) for at least an hour and up to 1 day to maximize flavor.
Grilled Chicken with Caribbean Marinade
- 2 scallions
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- .75 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeds removed
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
- In a food processor, puree the scallions, garlic, allspice, thyme, salt, brown sugar, jalapeño, oil, and lime juice until smooth, scraping down the sides halfway. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag.
- Pour the mixture over the chicken and seal the bag, pressing as much air out as you can. Turn the bag a few times to move the marinade around, coating the chicken.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, flipping the bag halfway through to make sure the chicken marinates evenly.
- Preheat your gas grill with all burners on high and close the lid. When the grill is hot (after about 15 minutes), turn the 2 burners closest to the front to low, keeping the back burner on high.
- Remove the chicken from the bag and arrange on the grates over the low heat burners. Cover and cook until the underside of the chicken is just beginning to develop light grill marks, 6 to 9 minutes. Flip the chicken, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is firm to touch, 6 to 9 minutes longer.
- To get a nice char on the chicken, now move the chicken to the part of the grill over high flames and cook uncovered until each side has solid grill marks, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway.
- The chicken should be completely firm to the touch and register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.