100 Favorite Dishes, No. 26: The Jerk Chicken At Island Spot
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
If you've ever smelled jerk chicken smoking away on the grill, you know how captivating the scent can be. Allspice and cinnamon prick the olfactories while a tinge of heat and electricity heightens all your other senses. Most Jamaican restaurants make use of pre-made seasonings (Walkerswood is the most popular) and Island Spot in Carrollton (2661 Midway Road #105) is no different, but a waitress there told me the jarred spice blend is only the start.
They go on to add spices and aromatics to hop up the flavor and amp up the heat, before letting chicken parts soak in the marinade for days. The piquant poultry then spends time on a grill that imparts smoke, even though its fired by gas. It's the burnt, caked marinade that adds a dusky flavor that's almost as good as jerk that comes off a pimento wood-fired grill. Skip the lunch portion ($7.95) and order the dinner size for only $2 more. You'll finish all of it.
And ditch the sauce. Good jerk, like good brisket, needs nothing at all.
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