Jamaican Chicken Skewers with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

October 16, 2011

If Disneyworld’s castle is really like the castle at Neuschwanstein, then this recipe deserves the title that Chris Kimball gave it; Jamaican Jerk-Style Chicken. Of course, both versions can be appreciated only for what they are; one a unique evolution that became one of the world’s treasures, the other a modern copy using non-traditional techniques and ingredients. But even as an aficionado of Boston Bay Jerked Chicken (see more here), I can still give this recipe 4-stars, though I removed the word “Jerk” from my title.

Simple and delicious; made in broiler not on the grill.

The sauce was delicious and complemented the chicken perfectly; a very unique and well thought-out combination. Because my two sons don’t like spicy food, I omitted the seeds and ribs. Unfortunately, the result was still too hot for them; my 10-year-old boy ate it but my other 12-year-old didn’t.


  1. Chris Kimball says to use 30 skewers, and to cover the exposed wood with aluminum foil. However, my chicken slices didn’t come out nearly as perfect or even as those pictured here. So instead I made 15 fully-filled skewers. Some of my skewers had one long chicken piece, other skewers had two short pieces. And because they were so full, there was no need to use aluminum foil to cover the small amount of exposed wood.
  2. As usual, Chris Kimball had me make twice the amount of sauce as necessary. Below, I’ve cut the sauce recipe in half, which will still yield more than enough sauce.
  3. If you only have whole allspice, put it in a plastic baggy and pound to dust with a meat pounder. They are relatively soft and will easily turn to dust with little effort; unlike peppercorns. It’s not worth getting your spice grinder dirty.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $7.75.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time 6:00 PM. Dinner time 6:45 PM. (though I started marinading 24-hours before)

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepare it tonight are given below:

Chicken Marinade:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
2 scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 lime
1 medium garlic clove
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 habanero chile
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 to 1-1/2 limes)
1-1/2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 scallion, minced
1/4 habanero chile, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground black pepper

  1. Thinly slice your scallions, and peel and press your 1 garlic clove into a medium bowl. Finely mince your thyme leaves and Habanero chile; discarding the ribs the seeds (or include them for more heat). Whisk together all ingredients for the marinade. By preparing the marinade first, you can use the same cutting board for freezing and slicing your chicken.
  2. Arrange your 3 chicken breasts on cutting board and pre-freeze for 30 minutes to make slicing easier.
  3. When the chicken is firm, on the diagonal, slice the chicken lengthwise into 1/4″-thick strips. Slicing on the diagonal will make the slices twice as wide.
  4. Add the marinade and chicken to gallon-sized Zip-lock bag. Toss to coat, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, mix together in a small bowl the orange marmalade, lime juice, 3 tablespoons warm water, minced scallion, Habanero, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of ground black pepper. You can adjust the consistency by adding more another tablespoon of warm water. Adjust the seasoning with additional lime juice, salt, and pepper if desired. You can make the sauce up to 3 days before; but bring it back up to room temperature before serving.
  6. To cook the chicken, adjust an oven rack so that it is 6″ from the broiler’s heating element. Preheat the broiler on high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup). Spray the broiler pan’s top with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Weave the chicken pieces onto the wooden skewers, and lay down on the broiler pan. Broil until lightly browned and fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately passing the dipping sauce separately.

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