Photo: Jessie Wallner/WFIU
In the Caribbean, they start every chicken dish with a healthy squirt of lime juice. “I think it started off as a way of preserving the chicken with the acid in the lime,” says Chef Orr, who spent a few years working in Anguilla, “but now it just tastes like the Caribbean.”
After you take the chicken off the grill, the Caribbeans aren’t done with it. Keep an extra half lime for when the chicken is done cooking to squirt on the finished bird. Also add some sea salt for a saline crunch.
Paradise Kitchen Grilled Chicken With Chilies, Garlic And Lime
- 2 broiler chickens, split (about 5-6 pounds total)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, cut into thin ribbons
- 1 fresh chili pepper, minced (use your favorite depending on heat)
- 2 branches rosemary, crushed
- 2 tablespoons Mediterranean Spice Blend
- 1 tablespoon Mellow Yellow Spice Blend
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- additional olive oil as needed
- sea salt as needed
- 1 whole lime cut in half
- smoked paprika
- Prepare the grill. Place an oiled rack 4-6 inches above medium coals.
- Combine the oil, lime juice, rosemary, garlic, spices and salt. Brush the chicken inside and out and marinate for 3-4 hours before grilling. May be done the day before and refrigerated overnight.
- Place the chicken on the grill, bone side down. Baste chicken halves frequently with marinade mixture and turn every 10 minutes. Once nicely caramelized, move to the cool side of your grill and cook until done, about 30-40 minutes. When done, chicken should be tender and juices will run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork.
- Finish by drizzling with olive oil, sprinkles of crystals of sea salt, coarsely ground pepper, some smoked paprika and squeezes of fresh lime over the crispy chicken just before taking it to the table. Small things like this will make a huge difference.
- Toss some lime wedges and big sprigs of cilantro around it as well.