Grilled Jerk Chicken and Honeydew Salsa

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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For chicken:
3 scallions, chopped coarse
4 large garlic cloves
1 small onion, chopped coarse
4 -5 fresh habaneros, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 to 2 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken (I used four leg quarters)

For salsa:
2 cups diced honeydew
1/4 a red onion, diced finely
Juice of one lime
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint
Generous pinch of salt


To make jerk marinade, combine all of the ingredients under “for chicken” except for the chicken (obviously) in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Place chicken in a sealable plastic bag, dump in the marinade, squeeze out extra air, seal and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Before grilling chicken, let it get to room temperature for about an hour. Preheat grill to high, then lower to moderate. Grill chicken until well browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes, then adjust to low, cover grill lid, and grill until cooked through, about 25 minutes more.

To make salsa, combine all ingredients. Serve chicken topped with salsa–serves 4.