Into a small bowl add dry ingredients (thyme, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper and brown sugar.) Stir until well combined. Add the minced garlic, minced onions, rum (optional) olive oil, water, lime juice and soy sauce. Mix well.
Place chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag, then dump the spice/liquid mixture over the top. (If chicken pieces are very thick, you can lightly pound them first).
Add the habanero chili pieces to the bag. (See notes about level of heat.)
Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the chicken so it is completely coated.
Place the bag into the fridge for a minimum of one hour or up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, remove the bag from the fridge while you preheat your grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees).
Using tongs, place the chicken breasts on the hot grill cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F; about 10 minutes per side. Thicker pieces may take longer. Resist the urge to turn the heat to high as it could burn the marinade.
Cooking low and slow gives you moist on the inside and a flavor crust on the outside.
This recipe is an adaptation of a newspaper clipping from the Omaha World Herald in the mid 1980's.If you want your jerk chicken spicier, you can mince the habanero and not remove the pepper before grilling. The heat will be much more present when you take a bite!