With a nod to Caribbean influences in New Orleans, Chef
Evans incorporates island flavors in both the spicy marinade and the ripe-fruit
salsa. Coconut oil, which is
solid at room temperature, needs to be warmed before being added to the
marinade - and contributing a deliciously subtle coconut flavor to the poultry.
Serves 4 to 6
For the chicken
2 3-lb. whole chickens
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, coarsely chopped
6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 fresh habanero chiles, seeded
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. tamari
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. honey, preferably raw
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs. smoked paprika
2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil for the grill and brushing
Lime wedges, for serving
Fresh cilantro and mint leaves, for garnish
1/2 medium (about 2 lb.) papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced
into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 large (about 1 lb.) mango, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1-1/2
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 fresh red chile, such as Fresno, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
Prepare the chicken:
Working with 1 chicken at a time, put it breast side down on
a cutting board.
pair of kitchen shears, cut along the length of the backbone on both sides and
remove. (Discard or save for stock.)
Flip the chicken, breast side up, and press down with the
palm of your hand to flatten.
shears or a sharp chef’s knife, cut the chicken in half lengthwise through the
In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, garlic,
habaneros, lime juice, coconut oil, tamari, vinegar, honey, thyme, paprika,
allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1-1/2 tsp. pepper.
a paste and transfer to a large shallow baking dish, or split among 2
gallon-size zip-top bags.
chicken halves and turn to coat.
plastic wrap or seal the bags and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to
Let the chickens sit out at room temperature for 1 hour to lose
gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (350°F to 375°F).
and oil the grate with canola oil.
Remove the chickens from the marinade and wipe off the
chickens all over with canola oil and lightly season with salt.
grill and cover, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer
inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 30 minutes.
chicken halves are ready, transfer to a large serving platter, cover with foil,
and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Make the salsa:
Meanwhile, stir together the papaya, mango, onion, jalapeño,
red chile, lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl.
taste with salt and set aside.
can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
To serve, arrange the chicken on a platter with the lime
wedges and sprinkle with cilantro and mint leaves.
salsa on the side.