Courtesy of Tom and Linda Ryalls (svkitchen.com)
Serves 4 to 6
- ½ cup (120 ml) spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan
- ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cider vinegar
- Juice and zest of 4 limes
- ¼ cup (50 g) dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) black peppercorns, cracked
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cloves
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced ginger
- 6 scallions (green and white parts), sliced
- 3 Scotch bonnet or habañero chiles, coarsely chopped
- 12 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- Vegetable oil (for grilling)
- Fill and preheat the water oven to 152F/67C.
- In a small saucepan, bring the rum to a low boil over medium heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and with a long wooden match or a lighter, ignite the rum to burn off the alcohol. Be very careful when doing this! Let the flame burn itself out, usually about 60 to 90 seconds. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl combine the rum with the remaining ingredients except the chicken thighs and vegetable oil.
- Put 6 chicken thighs in a single layer in each of 2 large (gallon/3.8 liter) zip-closure cooking pouches. Add half of the contents of the bowl to each pouch.
- Evacuate the air from the pouches, using the displacement method (Archimedes Principle) and zip the seal.
- Submerge the pouches in the water oven and cook for 4 hours.
- If you don’t plan to serve the chicken right away, remove the pouches from the water oven and quick-chill them in an ice-and-water bath, adding more ice as necessary, then refrigerate the bags until ready to use, up to 48 hours. Re-warm them in the pouch in the preheated water oven for 45 minutes before finishing.
- If you plan to finish the chicken on a barbeque or outdoor grill, light the coals or preheat the clean, well-oiled grill 15 to 20 minutes before removing the chicken from the water bath. (Tip: If desired, a minute or two before transferring the chicken to the grill, add a large handful of dry hickory chips to the hot coals to get lots of smoke. All that smoke gives the food a depth of flavor that approximates an extended time on the barbeque.)
- Remove the pouches from the bath and allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer the chicken to a platter or cookie sheet, discarding the bag juices.
- Blot the skin side of the thighs dry with paper towels, then brush with a light coating of vegetable oil.
- Place the thighs on the hot grill skin-side down and sear until the skin is browned and crisped, about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes.
- In the winter or on a rainy day, you can also brown and crisp the skin under a hot broiler.