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Note: Scotch bonnet peppers are extremely hot. Handle with caution. Wash knife, cutting board, and all surfaces immediately after working with them. Do not touch your face or any sensitive areas until you've thoroughly scrubbed your hands. If they are unavailable, substitute habanero peppers.
To split a chicken, start by using sharp poultry shears to remove the backbone by cutting along both edges of the spine. Next, flip the bird over and flatten it slightly by pressing down. Cut the bird in half along the center of the breastbone with a sharp knife. Your butcher should be able to do this for you. You can also substitute 4 chicken leg quarters if you prefer more dark meat (I do).
This recipe can easily be doubled. To double, use twice the amount of chicken but the same amount of marinade. Cook all four chicken halves on the grill at the same time.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
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