1. This recipe works really well with chicken thigh fillets - with or without skin, with or without bone. It works but is not as good with chicken breast - you really need fat for the Marinade to mix with and to caramelise.
If you use boneless chicken thigh fillets, you can also cook this on the stove.
2. The original recipe calls for 1+ scotch bonnet peppers (adjust according to taste). Scotch bonnet peppers are a very hot chili that are commonly used in African and Caribbean cooking. On the chili "heat" scale, it is about 50% spicier than birds eye chili.
The best substitute is habanero peppers which is about the same level of spiciness. Otherwise, birds eye or any other spicy chili is an adequate substitute. Just do a taste test of the marinade to get the spiciness to your taste.
You can get dried habaneros in Australia from Herbies
or Fireworks Food
. Just soak in a bit of warm water for 15 minutes or so, then put it straight into the food processor without sautéing.
I find 2 habaneros / 3 birds eye chillis give it a nice kick. If I'm cooking for someone who can't handle spicy food, I reduce it to 1 birds eye chilli.
If you are using scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, be aware that they are very hot! Use gloves if you can, and wash your hands, food processor and anything else that has come into contact with them. DO NOT rub your eyes!! Or any other sensitive part of your body! ;)
3. The original recipe calls for using the Marinade to make a sauce by simmering it on the stove for 7 minutes with the juices from the chicken. I changed it to use all the Marinade on the chicken so the drumsticks are coated with thicker flavour, rather than sauce on the side. The other reason I did this is that drumsticks in Australia don't drop enough juice and fat to be able to create enough liquid to turn the remaining Marinade into a sauce, and also I like the thicker, stronger flavour on the chicken.
4. Jerk Chicken goes fabulously with Caribbean Rice and Beans (see recipe below).
5. Nutrition for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Drumsticks based on 4 servings.