Bahamian Grilled Chicken
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On most of the islands of the Caribbean, its common to rinse chicken and meats in lime juice before cooking. The practice probably originated in the days before refrigeration, when the citrus juice served as both a flavoring and disinfectant. Today we prize the lime juice for the tart, tangy flavor it imparts to the chicken.
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), quartered, or 4 bone-in chicken breasts halves with skin
1 cup lime juice, fresh
1 onion, small, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 2 hot chilies, scotch bonnet or other hot chiles, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons thyme, chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white peppers, freshly ground
1. Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place the pieces in a nonreactive bowl or baking dish and pour in the lime juice; turn the pieces to coat. Let marinate, at room temperature, for 15 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice.
2. Pour off and discard the lime juice, then add the onion, garlic, chile, thyme, oil, paprika, salt, and pepper and turn the chicken pieces to coat thoroughly. Let the chicken marinate in this mixture for at least 15 minutes or as long as 1 to 2 hours (the longer the better), covering and refrigerating if marinating the longer time.
3. Preheat the grill, using the two-tiered method.
4. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any bits of onion or garlic off the chicken pieces. Arrange the pieces, skin side down, on the grate over the hotter section of the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the chicken pieces to serving plates or a platter and serve.
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