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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken



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Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 3- to 3 1/2-pound chickens, halved lengthwise, rinsed, patted dry

Recipe Preparation

  • Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan for 3 minutes.

  • Transfer rum mixture to blender; add vinegar and next 12 ingredients and blend until almost smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning to small bowl; mix in ketchup and soy sauce to make sauce. DO AHEAD Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.

  • Arrange chicken in large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over; turn to coat. Spoonjerk seasoning over chicken adn rub in. cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F or prepare barbecue (medium heat). Remove chicken from jerk seasoning marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If roasting chicken in oven, arrange chicken, skin side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with fork, about 50 minutes. If grilling chicken, place chicken, skin side down, on grill rack, cover, and grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally and adjusting heat if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes.

  • Cut each chicken half into pieces and serve with sauce.

Reviews SectionRecipe Displays strangely on the website and it makes the recipe look like it’s 1 1/2 cups of vinegar instead of a half a cup!!!What’s with the extra “1s”???

Jerk Chicken

Next to reggae, jerk style cooking is probably what Jamaica is most famous for. Today, we are headed to the country of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt for a delicious Jamaican jerk chicken recipe.

What is jerk cooking?

Jerk is a traditional Jamaican cooking style that uses a marinade (or paste) that combines pimento (allspice), as well as scotch bonnet peppers at a minimum.

Most people who have tried a real Jamaican jerk will tell you: it hurts! Yes, jerk marinade is supposed to give more than a kick to the meat. Get your tastebuds prepared!

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Indeed, scotch bonnet pepper is one of the world’s most fiery chiles (100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units). It features a sweet heat that develops in the mouth rather than explodes. Scotch bonnet peppers can be substituted for habaneros, which are sometimes easier to find.

How to make jerk chicken

The meat, typically pork or chicken, is marinated before it is smoked over pimento wood. Pimento is originally a Spanish word used for pepper. Because of its resemblance to black peppercorn, European explorers who discovered allspice called it pimento.

Pimento wood is a fragrant tropical tree. Along with pimento (allspice) and Scotch bonnet peppers, it is one of the unique flavors of jerk. An authentic jerk should be cooked over a low fire, over pimento wood chips.

In addition to pimento berries (allspice) and pimento wood, you are also supposed to use dried pimento leaves in the jerk marinade, but these can also be replaced by bay leaves.

What is the origin of jerk cooking?

The term jerk is believed to come from the Spanish word of Quechua origin, charqui. This word which is used to designate dried meat, eventually gave birth to the English word jerky.

Also, jerking refers to the action of poking holes in the meat so that it can more easily absorb all the flavors of the marinade. Jerk could also have come from the flipping of the meat in the marinade.

Jamaica was settled more than 2500 years ago by the Arawak Indians from South America. At the time, the Arawaks used to smoke and dry meat under the sun or over a slow fire. Such techniques were common in Peru. Dried beef could easily be transported over long distance. It was eaten as is or chopped and rehydrated in boiling water.

In 1492, when Columbus claimed Jamaica, he enslaved the Arawak indians. Most of them eventually died and were replaced by African slaves.

When the British invaded the country in 1655, the Spanish fled, leaving behind the African slaves. To escape the potential British re-enslavement, these slaves known as the Maroons, fled to the Blue Mountains where they eventually lived with the local Taínos, one of the indigenous people of the Caribbean.

The Maroons used to hunt wild boar. They rubbed the meat with a paste composed of spices, onions, ginger, and chiles, which they slowly smoked over pimento fires in pits. The method helped tenderize as well as preserve the meat.

The Maroons used similar techniques in Africa but new local Jamaican ingredients were added or substituted over the years.

One of the main additions to the recipe is the Scotch bonnet pepper. This ingredient is largely responsible for the heat found in Jamaican jerk.

The term jerk can refer to the spice rub (jerk spices), the wet marinade (dry rub combined with fresh ingredients), as well as the particular cooking technique over pimento wood.

The jerk cooking technique as well as the seasoning have followed the Caribbean culture all over the world, and different versions of jerk can now be found all over the world. Poulet boucané (smoked chicken) from the French West Indies is a distant cousin to traditional Jamaican jerk chicken.

The tradition is alive and well in Jamaica. Most jerk in Jamaica is now no longer cooked in the traditional method and is rather grilled over hardwood charcoal in a steel drum jerk pan.

Indeed, jerkmen, as Jamaica’s pitmasters are called, now cook their jerk in modified steel drums or grills covered with sheets of corrugated tin.

Their jerk, usually made with chicken or pork, can be purchased with hard dough bread (hardo bread), deep fried cassava bammy (flatbread), Johnny cakes, and festival (sweet fried dumplings). Other, non traditional meats, such snapper, lobster, shrimp, or even tofu, are sometimes jerked.

At home, if you have a smoker, I would recommend cooking the jerk chicken slowly with pimento wood. If like me, you do not have a smoker just yet, you can grill your jerk chicken over your BBQ. Use pimento wood or other aromatic woods if you can, your jerk chicken recipe will only taste better.


Jamaican Jerk

Barbeque fragrant, spicy Jamaican jerk, and bring home the flavors of the Caribbean.

Island Flavors

There are any number of recipes for jerk seasoning, and many have an ingredient list a mile long. But Jamaican food lovers agree that there are three jerk spice ingredients that are key: allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, and thyme.

  • The allspice berry, also known as "Jamaica pepper," is native to the island and has a rich, spicy flavor reminiscent of a mingling of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Scotch bonnet peppers are small, orange, wrinkly, and extremely hot--they are among the hottest chiles available.
  • Thyme is widely used in Caribbean cooking and adds complexity to the flavor of the meat. Additional ingredients often added to jerk seasoning include garlic, brown sugar, green onions, soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, rum, bay leaves, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper.

Some Top-Rated Jerk Seasoning Recipes

Do the Grind

For the most flavorful seasoning, buy spices whole, toast them lightly in a dry skillet -- just until they become aromatic -- and then grind them in a spice grinder (a coffee grinder reserved for this purpose works great) or a mortar and pestle.

  • Remove the seeds from the peppers to decrease the heat, also remove the white membranes. Do not handle Scotch bonnet peppers without wearing plastic or latex gloves: the oils can cause serious irritation and burning to your hands.
  • If you&aposre apprehensive about eating something that hot, you can substitute a milder pepper--your jerked meats will still taste great!
  • Place the peppers, the ground spices, and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and let it run until a smooth paste forms. You can add soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, rum, or water if the mixture appears to need more liquid.

Rub it In

Pork and chicken are the two most traditional meats to jerk, but the seasoning is wonderful on beef, lamb, and fish as well. If you want to do an all-day, slow-cooked barbeque, choose pork butt or whole chickens for quick grilling, opt for boneless chicken, fish, or pork loin.

  • Start by making shallow scores in the surface of the meat using a sharp knife, and then rub the seasoning paste thoroughly over the surface of the meat.
  • If you&aposre using skin-on chicken, omit the scoring step and rub the seasoning under the skin.
  • Once again, it&aposs a good idea to wear plastic or latex gloves while handling the seasoning.
  • Wrap the meat tightly in plastic and refrigerate overnight to allow the spices to permeate it.

Heat Meets Meat

True Jamaican jerk must be barbequed. The traditional way is to slow-roast the meat at a low temperature for several hours over a fire fueled by allspice branches, which give a sweet and spicy smoke flavor to the meat. You may be hard-put to find allspice branches in your area, but you can use any kind of hardwood chips to add to the flavor of your jerk barbeque.

  • Prepare your grill for indirect heat, and place a drip pan underneath the spot where you&aposll grill the meat.
  • Soak food-friendly wood chips in a bowl of water for 30 minutes or so, and then sprinkle them liberally over the hot coals just before putting the meat on the grill.

How to Roast Jamaican Jerk Chicken in the Oven

No grill? That&aposs OK. Chef John has an ingenious method for getting great flavor in the oven. The key is to be patient. Let the chicken brown properly, and you&aposll be rewarded with beautiful wings with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.

Ease the Burn

Traditional accompaniments to jerked meats include black beans and rice, mango salsa, roasted sweet potatoes, fried plantains, and grilled pineapple. These dishes are high in starch and acidic ingredients, both of which will help to temper the spicy burn.

The History of Jerk Seasoning

The word jerk refers to the seasoning blend, the cooking method, and to the meat that has been treated to the jerk seasoning and cooking processes.

Jerk was first created by the Arawak Indians, the original natives of Jamaica. The liberal amounts of spices and peppers helped preserve meats in the island heat, as did drying them over an open fire. The term "jerk" is thought to derive from the Spanish term charqui, which means dried meat. The word can also refer to the jerking motion of turning the meat as it roasts over the fire.


Reviews

I was in a hurry & misread the recipe, to our benefit. First, if you don't want to use ketchup, use 6 oz. tomato paste + 2T honey + 1/3c vinegar + 1/2t onion powder + 1/4t garlic powder. For peppers I used 2 habaneros because it was all I could find. I threw everything but the chicken & lime into the food processor & spun it into a paste. Used half to coat 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts & marinated for 1/2 hour or so while the Big Green Egg heated up. Using applewood chunks, we smoked/direct grilled bone side down for about an hour at 400°, moving them to the coolest part of the grill for the last 20 minutes or so & basting heavily with the rest of the sauce. These breasts were super juicy, just the right amount of heat, and incredibly flavorful. Will be making them often, as they are VERY easy when made this way & taste as though you've been working on it for 2 days. our guests were shocked that we could make this in so little time. Can't wait to try with pimiento wood!

I made this today and it is so yummy! I didn't do the ketchup or soy sauce though. I grilled it up with some veggies.

My family loved this recipe.. but I made a few adjustments. First, we follow a strict diet that bans certain foods on a rotating basis using a random number generator (Hubbard Solo New Era Dianetics Level OT 6), so chicken was right out. I used portioned ground beef instead. Also, the jerk seasoning didn't appeal to me so I substituted just salt and pepper. Finally we are watching our carbs so instead of a bed of rice we put the grilled patties on (gluten free) buns. MMM MMM. My husband loved it and the kids said they wanted it to be Jerk Chicken night EVERY night.

Tried this out the other night. It's ok, there is a better jerk marinade here on epicurious. When making your jerk I highly recommend using pimento wood from jamaica. You can get it here in the states at www.pimentowoodproducts.com. This recipe was overall good but having made many different jerk recipes in the past there are much better ones out there.

This was absolutely delicious and my new favorite. Loved the combination of spices and flavors. Definitely helps top marinate the chicken for a few hours if not overnight. Just out of judgement I cut the ketchup and used only about half the amount and think now I agree with the others. Overall, a totally yummy flavor profile.

Yum! I used this jerk marinade for chicken skewers, marinating overnight and broiling in the oven. Great flavor and fairly simple despite the long ingredient list. I adjusted the dipping sauce to personal taste by only using 1/4 the amount of ketchup and adjusting the soy sauce quantity slightly as well. Served with a quinoa black bean salad and fresh mango. Will make this again when it's grilling season.

Good, but as others have said the ketchup amount is too ketchup. I followed the recipe exactly so the ketchup issue is just in the dipping sauce. I baked the chicken and it was not dry, which was a plus. The chicken was just mild, not hot enough for my taste. With some adjustments this could be perfect.

Loved this! So much so I'm making it again tonight. Spicy, dark deep flavors and so very aromatic. Per others' reviews, I completely skipped the ketchup and didn't miss a thing. With my apologies for rating a recipe that I didn't perfectly follow, I made two other subs, just because I had to: balsamic instead of malt vinegar and cardamom instead of allspice. What was great is that these little changes didn't make the sauce weird or out of balance. In fact, made it perfectly delicious!

This recipe far exceeded my expectations! I had 8 lbs. of chicken so tripled the recipe, which was more than enough. I really ramped up the garlic, using 2 heads. Our guests went bananas over it at our Caribbean party.

This chicken receipe is one of my favorites. Note, I love spicy but 3 peppers is too much. We used on habenero pepper and it came out perfect. All of my guest LOVE it!

I can't rate the recipe because I decided to use a jar of jerk seasoning. BUT I learned from this recipe that catsup is an ingredient that isn't in the jar. So I mixed chicken parts with the jerk seasoning and catsup, let it sit overnight in the frig, and then baked (I was using boneless chicken breast pieces for a buffet and needed easy-to-eat-with-a-fork food. The catsup mellowed and sweetened the spices and it was deliciious.

Excellent recipe, got rave reviews from all it was served too at our first ever Jamaican inspired Lunch. I didn't have the specified Chili here in Australia, so used a hot red chili instead, and added some dried chili flakes to up the heat a bit. Personally, I would not bother making the ketchupy sauce again as everyone tried it and didn't end up putting it on their chicken, preferring the gorgeous natural marinated juiciness instead.. Just delicious, a definite keeper!

This is a very good recipe, just poorly written. First time I made it. got rave reviews from 30 poeple. As for authenticity, I'm sure 2 Jamaicans will argue about what constitutes the real thing. I was told it tastes just like the chicken at a shack in Jamaica. I adjusted a few ingredients and baked it at 450 degrees for 25 min. and then broiled it for 3 min. Perfect!

I have to tell you I am a frequent visitor to Jamaica and this recipe ROCKS!! It reminds me of coming out of the dance places at 3am and having the authentic Jerk chicken on the side of the road by the local COOKS! Great paired up with a dense bread to break the heat up!! LOVED IT!!

Chicken was juicy and flavorful, but I wasn't in love with the jerk seasoning. I did not have malt vinegar so substituted cider vinegar which may have been a fatal flaw. regardless I thought the sauce was too ketchupy.

I used habenero and, while I like spicy food, this was insanely hot. I made it for a guest and we were literally sweating eating it. I poured lime juice over the chicken,then slathered it with the jerk paste. The recipe said "remove from marinade" so I removed it from the lime juice but left on the jerk paste. Was I supposed to scrape off all the jerk paste before cooking? Or are you supposed to remove the skin with all the spicy heat before eating? I marinated it overnight, so maybe that added to making the dish so hot. Three adults had this for dinner and not one of us like the ketchup/soy/jerk sauce.

Well this was my first recipe from the Epicurious site and I have to say Im hooked! Great site. So anyway, I subɽ out 3 Habaneros for the 2 Scotch Bonnets.. I like the heat and didn't have the Bonnets. I also used boneless chicken thighs instead of boneless breast meat and slow cooked them on the grill. Towards the end I cranked up the heat to char them a bit and they came out very moist and tasty. After making the sauce I added it right to the chicken thighs and let it work for about 2-1/2 hours before grilling. However, I think my next shot at it I'm going to let the concoction stand overnight and marinate the chicken for a longer period of time. I served it with grilled veggies and a nice Chardonnay.

Amazing chicken. It seems as though everyone who gave it a bad review had an idea in their mind about how jerk chicken "should" taste before making it, and as a result were disappointed. Stop "shoulding" all over yourself and enjoy this as seasoned chicken! I add 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar instead of teaspoons, makes it a little sweeter and delicious!

I do not understand all the great reviews. I thought this recipe was gross. I followed it exactly. The proportions were all wrong. Way too heavy on cinnamon and all spice. Tasted nothing like any jerk chicken I have ever had. Tons of work for a very disappointing result.

Wow. I read the directions wrong, did it wrong, and it still came out amazing. That's a great recipe! I didn't realize until I read the other reviews (after the chicken was already marinating) that the ketchup and soy sauce are supposed to be for the dipping sauce, and the rest of the ingredients are what you are supposed to marinate the chicken in. I was worried while it was chilling, but it came out fantastic! As other reviewers mentioned, it is very moist. I will definitely be making this one more often. But next time I will actually follow the directions.

This recipe is in high demand in our house and I'm always happy to comply, it's my favorite chicken recipe ever. Malt vinegar is an absolute - accept no substitute. More than one pepper with seeds is exceptionally hot I usually just use one good size jalapeno and it has a mild kick. Make sure you read the recipe all the way through - one reviewer added the ketchup to the marinade - it's for the sauce. Also, another mentioned they wanted to marinade in the sauce. I think you missed a step. Anyhow, this recipe is so seriously winner, winner chicken dinner, not even a blustery winter evening could stop me from firing up the grill for this finger-lickin' Jerk. Fab!

My family did not like this version of jerk chicken. We prefer marinating in the sauce instead of just dipping. We ended up eating the chicken, which was very moist, by itself and saving the sauce, which I'll use as a marinade next time.

Fabulous recipe. We make it every year on our summer vacation and everyone loves it. The sauce is so flavorful and the chicken stays very juicy.

Very easy to make. I used bone in breast halves. Makes a delicious sauce for basting.


6. Roasted Potatoes

Picture eating smoky Jamaican chicken with some Hasselback baby potatoes with garlic slathered in butter and roasted to perfection. Now isn&rsquot that just divine?

This pairing works so well because both dishes are seasoned with garlic. Aside from the similar flavors, they also look great together. A picture-perfect plate!


Common throughout the Caribbean, jerk chicken often refers to a spicy grilled chicken dish. Our recipe can be used for grilling or baking.

With spices such as allspice and cumin, the flavor profile tends to be earthy, exotic, and slightly sweet with a bit of sugar in the mixture.

This dish is definitely on the healthy side, especially if you don’t eat the chicken skin. Because it’s grilled or baked and not fried, it doesn’t absorb much oil (plus, we use olive oil for the paste.)

Yes, this is a great recipe for meal prep. Make a large batch at the beginning of the week, along with easy rice and beans, to enjoy for several days.


History

Jerk Chicken is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.

There are two commonly held theories regarding how the name "Jerk" came to be used. One is that it originates from the Spanish word "Charqui", used to describe dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui" to "Jerky" to "Jerk". Another theory is that the name derives from the practice of jerking (poking) holes in the meat to fill with spices prior to cooking. Nowadays, the word "Jerk" is used as a noun to describe the seasoning applied to jerked food and as a verb to describe the process of cooking used.



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I made this wonderful recipe when it came out in June 1003 and I was surprised to see it in the "Buzz Box" which I check out semi-regularly. Nina's review was posted 19 times! Epicurious - why does this keep happening? It completely skews the results and thus the purpose of this interesting part of the sight.

Tastes great! I too had difficulty getting it hot enough, because I could not find the peppers I needed (used 7 Serranos for double the recipe, and def not enough bite!) I also decided at the last minute to sprinkle some brown sugar on the skin side, which gave it the sweetness of the jerk recipes I have loved. That did make for a lot of charred carbon to clean off my pan though (did it in the oven). Would make it again with some heat adjustments.

my first jerk chicken ever and it turn out beautifully. Easy recipe to follow and what a nice taste. Didn't get Scotch bonnet r habanero chiles so used what's available in this part of the world - small green chiles from India (used 6!) and it was just enough heat. Thank you. This made my hubby's Bday extra special. Will definitely make it again at our next BBQ party.

This was a fantastic recipe! I used boneless, skinless breasts and let it marinate about 5 hours. Had fresh jalapenos from the garden, so I used them (but would definitely add a bonnet or habanero next time for a little extra heat!)instead. Also added a handful of fresh spinach and a grab of fresh parsley as well skipped the shallots since I didn't have any and added some extra garlic and scallions instead. As you may be able to tell, I use recipes as a "guide" but I followed the directions pretty exactly for measuring the spices and also added some red pepper flakes and ground white pepper. My husband demanded that this be added to the regular rotation!!

I've made this recipe for years and it's always enjoyed by all! Marinate overnight and use gloves when cutting the chili peppers -- or you'll risk tingly fingers for days. Best on the BBQ but the oven is good as well.

I can't comment about the authenticity of the dish, but I thought it was quite tasty. I made a small batch (two leg quarters) and scaled the recipe to approx 1/3. There was some extra sauce, but not a ton. In the future I will add more peppers as I thought the spice was *very* mild (child friendly in fact!). I marinated the chicken for a day and grilled it over charcoal with a mix of apple and mesquite wood chips to add smokey flavor. I made jamaican rice and peas (using canned coconut milk and black beans) and grilled sweet corn to go with the chicken. Overall it was a really tasty meal and something different. Will definitely make again!

This recipe is absolutely delicious. I made a small portion tonight for dinner just to test it out. I will definitely make it tomorrow night with all the fixings for a delicious family dinner. I loved it. Only thing I changed is jalepenos instead of habeneros (only because the store was out of habeneros) and wings instead of legs. Delicious.

This is one of the best jerk recipes I've ever tasted. Just a tad too much ginger for me, but that's a personal taste thing. I loved it.

This was a delicious Jerk. In deference to a relative who can't tolerate the heat like I can, I reduced the Scotch Bonnets. Just as well as it ended up plenty hot for me. I prefer skinless chicken breast to thigh meat or breast with skin. I was worried that the meat would dry out on the grill but it came out fine.

I was really excited to make "real" jerk chicken (I usually just use a rub from Penzey's spices), but this was really disappointing. I've had it at roadside stands in Jamaica, and this wasn't even close! I followed the recipe exactly, except that I added two coins of fresh ginger to the food processor (because it's a common ingredient in other recipes). I marinated a half chicken for two days and cooked it for 20 minutes in a smoker bag on the grill to approximate the wood-grilled flavor of the real thing, then finished over direct heat to get it brown and crispy. It looked right, and the smoke flavor was good, but it wasn't even spicy! Maybe it would have helped to leave the the seeds in two of the peppers (I used four habaneros). A tip: since this is all going in the processor, there's no need to chop the chiles first - I just carefully cut the stems and top off, and while holding the pepper from the bottom (no exposed flesh) used a small paring knife to cut out seeds and ribs (similar to cutting the core out of a tomato), and threw the chiles in the processor with the other ingredients. One might want to wear gloves anyway, but using this method, you don't have to touch the chile flesh or seeds with your hands. Anyway, I thought this recipe was pretty boring and not worth the time investment - next time I'll just use the rub.

This is an exceptional recipe! I did however use jalepenos the first time. I will use a combination next time for a bit more kick.


  • 1 whole chicken, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 4-5tbsp of jerk rub seasoning (see below)
  • Pinch salt
  • Jerk rub
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup spring or salad onions, including the green bits
  • 1/4tsp ground nutmeg
  • 5 small jalapeno peppers
  • 2tbs cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 2tsp salt
  • Splash of rum
  • To serve
  • Rice
  • Lime wedges
  • 1. Put all the jerk ingredients into food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  • 2. Rub the chicken with the lime and salt, then rub the jerk paste into them. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for the best results.
  • 3. Preheat a barbecue grill to medium high. Barbecue should be on medium-low heat. Grill the chicken for about 45 minutes, turning often to optimize cooking and browning. Or you can do it in the oven, heated to 190°C/425°F/gas 5.
  • 4. Let chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting into quarters. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Put all the jerk ingredients into food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste.

Rub the chicken with the lime and salt, then rub the jerk paste into them. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for the best results.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium high. Barbecue should be on medium-low heat. Grill the chicken for about 45 minutes, turning often to optimize cooking and browning. Or you can do it in the oven, heated to 190°C/425°F/gas 5.

Let chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting into quarters. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Safety note: Jalapenos and other chilli peppers can sting if they come in contact with your eyes, so it’s best to wear gloves when handling them and the jerk paste.


Jerk chicken is great on its own as a main course, but there's more you can do

Picture: At Sandals South Coast, a big smile always pairs nicely with our Jerk-style dishes at the famous Jerk Shack.

You could shred it and put in on top of baked sweet potatoes with salsa and avocados for a sweet and tangy main dish, or make sandwiches or wraps.

A creative way to use it is to take pizza crusts or naan, use a little jerk sauce (basically a thickened marinade) as a base, and top with jerk chicken, cheese, fajita veggies, and then bake it. Then add avocados to finish it off.

There's a lot you can do with jerk chicken. It's not just limited to traditional dishes. If you're creative with your cooking, the possibilities are truly endless.

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