Allspice is used extensively in Caribbean cuisine, especially in Jamaica. Fiery jerk seasoning pastes featuring allspice are used to marinate pork, goat, or chicken before barbecuing, preferably over an allspice-wood fire. Meat may also be stuffed or wrapped with allspice leaves, similar to the use of myrtle in the Mediterranean. Jamaican pimento dram is a liqueur made by steeping allspice berries in rum. Fresh allspice leaves, called West Indian bay leaf, are sometimes used for cooking or smoking meat.
- 1Toast allspice berries, bay leaves, cinnamon, and black peppercorns in a dry pan until aromatic. Cool, then grind.
- 2Whisk together malt or cider vinegar, water, chiles (seeded and thinly sliced), and scallions. Stir in the spices.
- 3Mix the marinade with chicken and marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
- 4Light a charcoal grill. Drain the chicken, pat dry, and brush lightly with oil. Grill indirectly with the grill covered for about 20 minutes per side. Alternatively, roast the chicken at 425°F for 30 to 40 minutes.
Beverage pairing: Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, New York. Spicy and savory, the chicken wants something soothing, thirst quenching, and easy drinking … like beer. A weiss beer, made with wheat, is a good choice. This one, a collaboration between Brooklyn Brewery and Germany’s Schneider, has refreshing fruitiness with a nice tinge of exotic spice and ginger.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.