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Barbecued chicken

The simple marinade and barbecue sauce in this recipe originates in a rather stern cookbook called Caribbean Cookery by Winifred Grey from 1965. Her aim was not only to provide readers with workable recipes but also to improve nutritional standards across the British Caribbean. She intended the original recipe for service alongside roasted or fried meats; we found that, as modified, it makes a good marinade and barbecue brush.


Sugar Cane Workers-1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

-about ¼ teaspoon cayenne or hot sauce to taste

-¼ cup chicken stock

-juice of 2 limes

-1 heaped teaspoon dry mustard

-1 cup tomato juice

-2/3 cup cane vinegar

-2 Tablespoons or more Worcestershire

-1 teaspoon salt


-pieces of chicken


  1. Bring everything but the chicken to a boil and let the sauce simmer for about ten minutes.
  2. Once it cools, pour the sauce into a plastic bag over as much chicken as you need and marinate it in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry while you reboil the marinade.
  4. Grill or broil the chicken, basting it with generous dollops of the sauce as you go.


- In its use of cayenne (though absent from the original, considerably blander, recipe), mustard and Worcestershire, this sauce owes an obvious debt to traditional English devils. The vinegar and lime juice add a distinct Caribbean note.

- The Editor likes to use boned and skinned chicken thighs with this recipe. They cook quickly on a grill without drying out.

- The original recipe is a little curious. It uses a lot of water to produce a predictably thin and watery sauce. We substituted a much smaller quantity of chicken stock and also boosted the proportion of the seasonings other than salt.

- The sauce could stand the addition of a good Tablespoonful of sugar, both because Caribbean cooks like to include it in savory recipes and to put a glaze on the meat. The vinegar serves the same function as it reduces but a lot of barbecue sauces rely on both elements.

- Cane vinegar is available at Chinese and Indian groceries. If you cannot get it use whatever you have.