Jamaican barbecued chicken

Our warm climate allows us to have barbecue all year round. At times the barbecue, even at home, is not successful because enough time is not allowed for the coal to be ready, before putting on the chicken. 

Always allow at least 2 to 2 and a half hours for the chicken to be properly done on the grill (one hour of that time is the burning of the coal, for the coal to be perfectly white before putting on the chicken. It is a good idea to do a few extra chickens when you light the barbecue grill, as the taste the next day may be better.  


4 whole chickens 

Wet Seasoning 

8 cloves garlic 

6 stalks escallion 

1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme 

1 Tbs. vinegar 


Dry Seasoning 

6 Tbs. salt 

2 tsp. sugar 

1 tsp. black pepper 

Barbecue Sauce 

2 cups vinegar 

2 Tbs. granulated sugar 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. dry mustard 

1 tsp. paprika 

1 tsp. black pepper 

2 Tbs. oil or margarine 

1/2 cup tomato ketchup 

Mix all ingredients of barbecue sauce together in a saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes and then cool. Set aside. Cut chickens in quarters, rinse in lime water (do not squeeze lime on chicken in water) and drain before adding seasoning. Blend garlic, escallion and thyme in the blender with 1 tsp. vinegar. (It is better not to mix the seasonings together.) Put on the wet seasoning (garlic etc.) before putting on the dry seasoning. Rub in dry seasoning and leave for at least 2 hours (overnight is better). Pour barbecue sauce over chicken and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours. When ready to barbecue, light the coals.  

Burn until coal appears white (no coal should have a flame). Put chicken on grill. The chicken should have enough space between the coal and the chicken. Grill skin side down, turning frequently with a pair of tongs to prevent burning. Do not piece chicken. Put cooked chicken aside, on the grill, so it keeps hot and completes the cooking process. 

Cook’s tip! If the coals are white when the chicken is put on the grill, it is better to put the barbecue sauce on the chicken before it is put on the grill.