Memorial Day is known as the official start to the summer season. Swimming pools open, beach houses are cleaned out, decks and patios are washed, lawn furniture is put out and most important, the grill is tested, fired up and ready to go.
In my family, I grill just about everything, and do it year-round. When there is snow on the deck, or it’s just too cold and windy to fire up the outdoor grill, I have a Pampered Chef grill pan for the stove that grills just as good, without having to deal with smoke and the outdoor elements.
However, Memorial Day is a little special. Since the last Monday in May is the designated holiday, on the last Sunday, my family makes up their own clam bakes filled with clams, a chicken leg, an onion, a white potato, a sweet potato, corn on the cob, and shrimp.
The Monday holiday is reserved for grilling “Jerk” chicken. A recipe handed down from my Grandmother’s family whose roots are deeply tied to the West Indies. We also grill traditional American food, like hot dogs, hamburgers and steak, basted in a Jamaican style BBQ sauce that is finger lickin good!
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
8-10 medium green onions sliced about 1/2-3/4 cup
1 small to medium red bell pepper about 1/2-3/4 cup
1 and 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
1/2-teaspoon ground ginger
1/2-teaspoon ground ginger
1/2-teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken breast, or selected chicken parts
Heat the Olive oil in an 8-10 inch skillet over medium heat until it is hot. Cook all ingredients, except the chicken in the oil. Stir frequently until the onions and peppers are tender.
Place chicken in a shallow glass dish, or a deep glass bowl and pour the Jerk mixture over the chicken. Turn the chicken in the mixture until all sides are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 1/2 a day. Occasionally turn chicken while it is marinating.
Place chicken pieces on grill. Discard any left over marinade. Cover and grill chicken on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until done.
Jamaican Style BBQ Sauce
1 1/4 cups Ketchup
1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2-cup tomato puree
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon Karo dark syrup
1-tablespoon liquid smoke
3 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Baste grilled meat and vegetables with the sauce and refrigerate any unused portion.