- 1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp dark rum
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons ground allspice
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 (5 or 6 pound) roasting chicken, cut in half, lengthwise
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Our eldest son Nathaniel will be getting married this November so this was the last year our family would be celebrating his birthday living in our home. Moving on is not a bad thing; it’s just different.
Am a little sad? Nope!
I savored the last time I would awake to greet him first thing in the morning to sing happy birthday to him and hugged him even tighter than I usually do. But instead of thinking of it as his last birthday with us, I thought of how happy he would be next year to awake to see his beautiful wife Amanda’s face greet him on his birthday.
She loves him.
We love her.
Instead of being sad, we get to also celebrate Amanda’s birthday in August, bridal showers, the wedding and then whenever God decides it is time to bless Nathaniel and Amanda with children of their own, we will have the blessing of celebrating our grandchildren’s lives, too.
Because this was Nate’s last year celebrating his birthday at home with us, we wanted to do something special. We took him to one of his favorite places — Asheville, North Carolina. Biltmore Lake was the place where he grew up and where we all enjoyed hiking, biking, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing together – every day!
We visited with some good friends, spent time on and around Biltmore Lake, kayaked, canoed, hiked…and ate…ate…and ate…
How sweet is this picture? Nate and Amanda playing on the playground he and his brother grew up enjoying! (I loved it there, too!) ; )
I love this picture!
We loved the lake and spent every day on it.
Here’s Handsome Alex now.
Here’s Silly Alex!
What a handsome kid!
This was the beautiful view we saw as we drove back down the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway after taking Nate to one of his favorite restaurants in the sky – Pisgah Inn — delicious!
When we returned home from our weekend in Asheville, I grilled for Nate two nights. Nate loves to grill and he loves grilled food. One night I made a recipe adapted by Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes.
What a pretty name! smile
This jerk chicken was incredible and I followed Elise’s instructions to the letter. I changed nothing and it was perfect! Like my kids…
Don’t you think your kids poop ice cream, too?
That jerk chicken was amazing!
Here’s how easy it is to make:
1 Put vinegar, rum, hot peppers, onion, green onion tops, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses into a blender. Pulse until mostly smooth.
2 Place chicken in a large freezer bag, or in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well. Add the jerk paste to the chicken pieces and coat well. Seal the bag or cover the chicken in the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
3 When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken from the marinade bag or pan. Put the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken. If you want you can reserve a little of the marinade (once boiled for 10 minutes since it has been in contact with raw chicken) to serve with the chicken or to mix with some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce for a serving sauce.
4a Grilling Method
Preheat grill to medium high. Sprinkle chicken halves with salt and pepper. Place chicken halves, skin side down on the grill grates. Cover. Cook for approximately one hour, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken halves are cooked through. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.
4b Oven Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken halves in a rimmed baking pan, skin side up. Roast until chicken halves are cooked through, about 50-60 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8.
We like to eat around here.
Happy, Happy Birthday, Son!