I like to make a lot of things from scratch. For instance, I don’t very often use barbecue sauce from a bottle. I usually put my own together with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, Tabasco and brown sugar. The same goes for marinades. My favorite is a combination of teriyaki, honey and orange juice.
However, in hectic times, such as days when there is a lot of canning and gardening work to be done, ‘ll go with something store-bought.
That’s what I did today. I pulled a couple of pheasants out of the freezer and put them in a marinade mix made by McCormick’s, the spice guys. The company’s Grill Mates line of marinades are pretty tasty and easy to throw together. For example, the one I used for the pheasant breasts, called Hickory BBQ, is just mixed with a little vinegar and oil, and it’s ready to go.
The meat has to marinate only for 15 to 20 minutes before it was ready for the grill. I chose to keep it in the sauce a little longer, and the result was pretty tasty, especially when combined with some new potatoes and fresh garden beans. I especially loved the hickory flavor. It reminded me of a Jamaican jerk.
Speaking of Jamaican jerk, here’s a recipe for some grilled island-style chicken, which is flavored with a jerk.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dry leaf thyme (not powdered)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 inches fresh ginger, washed and cut into chunks
½ Scotch bonnet pepper or 3 or more jalapenos, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: 1½ cups.
Grilled Island-Style Chicken
1½ cups Jerk Marinade (see recipe)
1 (3- to 4-pound) broiler fryer, cut into serving pieces (or 3 pounds breast, leg and thigh pieces)
Discard excess fat from chicken and put pieces in a large, self-sealing food storage bag. Pour on 1 cup marinade and rub it in, lifting the skin and pushing marinade under where possible. (If you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves.) Seal and refrigerate at least 2 hours and as long as 24 hours, turning occasionally.
Heat grill to medium-high; oil the grates. Lift chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off (discard marinade). Place on grill and cover. Cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is blackened in spots, about 10 minutes.
Move chicken to a cooler part of the grill. Grill, covered, basting from time to time with remaining ½ cup marinade, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 649 calories, (62 percent from fat), 39 grams fat (9 grams saturated, 16 grams monounsaturated), 167 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 420 milligrams sodium.