- 4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick), bone in and skin on (about 330g each)
- 1-2 scotch bonnet chillis (depending on how hot you like it!)
- thumb-sized pieces of root ginger (20g), peeled
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 spring onions, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (35g) runny honey
- 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice (about 1 small orange)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) light olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
- Make the marinade. Put the allspice berries into a spice grinder and grind until finely ground (if you do not have a spice grinder, then use a pestle and mortar or the small bowl of a food processor). Set aside.
- Put the fresh ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor (scotch bonnet chilli, garlic, fresh ginger, spring onion and thyme). Blitz until smooth. If the paste needs loosening up, add a bit of the olive oil.
- Add the ground allspice to the food processor, and the remaining paste ingredients (cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, pepper, honey, orange juice, olive oil and white wine vinegar). Blitz until fully combined. You can make this marinade up to a month ahead of time, provided you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Marinade the chicken. Place the chicken legs in a non-reactive container such as a glass or ceramic dish. Use the tip of a small, sharp knife to make a small incision in the skin of each thigh, stopping before you reach the meat. Slide a finger into the incision and gently separate the skin from the meat, working slowly to stop the skin from tearing. Once you have created a pocket, spoon in some of the marinade. Massage from the outside to distribute evenly under the skin.
- Rub the remaining marinade all over the outside of the chicken. Cover, and leave to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Cook the chicken. The next day, remove the chicken legs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking, so they have time to come up to room temperature. Arrange skin-side up in a single layer in an ovenproof dish. Cover the whole dish snugly with a double layer of tin foil.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/355°F. Cook the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the tin foil, and return to the oven to cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes to brown the skin. When done, the juices should run clear and an internal meat thermometer should read 75°C/165°F.
- Reduce the sauce. Once the chicken legs are cooked, lift out and place on a plate, scraping off any marinade with a spatula. Leave to rest for at least 10 minutes while you reduce the sauce, covered by a double layer of tin foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a saucepan. Wait for the oil to separate out and rise to the top. Tilt the pan, then lower in a metal spoon or ladle and scoop up the oil from the sides. Once all the fat has been skimmed off, heat over a high heat and boil rapidly until reduced to a thick sauce – about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour over the sauce.