Jamaican Jerk -- Chicken Grilled on a Can

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  • 1 4 pound chicken
  • 1 12 - 16 ounce can of Jamaican style lager, such as Red Stripe
  • 1 habanero chile, halved
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Alternate Spice Mix

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. jerk seasoning


If using a charcoal grill, place a 9-by-13-inch disposable aluminum pan in the center of the bottom rack. Light briquettes in a charcoal chimney. When covered with ash, pour into the grill around (not in) the pan; add the top rack. If using a gas grill, place the aluminum pan under the top rack on one side. Heat the side without the pan to medium-high; leave the burner under the pan off.

Pour out half a can of Jamaican style lager. Push 1 halved habañero chile into can. In bowl, mix ground ginger, garlic powder, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, cayenne and grated nutmeg. (Or use Alternate Spice Mix.) Rub 2 tsp. spice mix under skin of chicken. Rub chicken with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and remaining spice mix.

Push the chicken, legs down, over the can. Thread a toothpick through the skin to close the neck opening; this will trap the flavorful steam that comes out of the can as the chicken cooks. Place the chicken on the rack over the aluminum drip pan, using the can and the legs to prop it up.

Cover and grill, rotating halfway through cooking, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees , about 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken and can to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Using oven mitts (silicone ones work great), steady the chicken with one mitt, and carefully twist the can with the other mitt to release.