There are some nights I’m especially excited about dinner, and the night we ate this meal was one of them. I’d mixed up the marinade early that morning, and I knew the whole family would love it (anything fairly heavy on allspice is definitely a favorite around these parts). Plus, we got to eat our first green beans of the season, and plantains, which I adore. I sliced the plantains and dusted them with chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar, then cooked them in a skillet with a little canola oil until they became nice and caramelized. Yum. (Had I not realized after taking 3 pictures of the chicken that my memory stick was full, I would have blogged the plantains, too.)
So, back to the chicken. It’s no secret that I adore chicken thighs, so I won’t blather on about that. I will go on about the marinade, which could not be simpler and probably utilizes things you already have on hand. It’s actually not meant to be a marinade in the original recipe, but I knew that letting the chicken sit in all these fabulous flavors all day could only make this more delicious.
The chicken has a little bit of heat from the jalapeno and the cayenne, but it’s not overtly spicy in my opinion. The heat is balanced nicely by the honey and cider vinegar, which add a bit of sweetness. And there’s really not much I can say about allspice other than I love it in both sweet and savory dishes, and this one was no different. This chicken is quick, healthy, and incredibly flavorful. I can never really ask for anything more from a meal.
The chicken thighs can also be grilled. We don’t really have time to grill during the week, so I just cooked the chicken until it was slightly undercooked in a cast iron skillet, and then finished it up under the broiler. You can cook them entirely under the broiler without the addition of any extra oil. I often prefer to do this but I have a finicky broiler (top rack is too close to the element, second rack is too far = annoying), so I tend to not use it for as long a time period as I used to with my old one.
Jamaican-Spiced Chicken Thighs
Adapted from Cooking Light
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 Tbsp. honey
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
4 tsp. cider vinegar
4 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. minced thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4-6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (about 1.25 lbs.)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Mix together the onion, honey, jalapeno, vinegar, soy sauce, allspice, thyme, and cayenne. Place in a resealable bag and add the chicken. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the broiler.
Heat a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until slightly undercooked.
Place the chicken under the broiler and cook for an additional 1 minute per side or until chicken is cooked through.
Jamaican-Spiced Chicken Thighs