How to jerk like a Jamaican
I am obsessed with Jerk Chicken! Or jerk anything for that matter… jerk shrimp, jerk fish, jerk beef.. it goes on.
The Jerk style of cooking is native to Jamaica. The meat is dry-rubbed or marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is usually applied to chicken but can also be applied to beef, fish, shrimp, shellfish, sausage, lamb, and even tofu.
While you can always buy Jerk Chicken at any Jamaican restaurant around town, I found this recipe online (thanks to jamaicatravelandculture.com) for anyone looking to customize their own experience and bring a taste of Jamaica into their lives for tonight.
Jerk chicken recipe
(Note: you may choose to substitute chicken with beef, shrimp, etc. If doing so, be sure to adjust the ingredients accordingly)
You will need the following ingredients to prepare enough jerk chicken for 4 people.
- One 3 1/2 lb chicken (3lb of chicken breasts may be used if preferred)
- 6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers (jalapenos may be used if scotch bonnet peppers are unavailable)
- 2 Tbsp. thyme
- 2 Tbsp. ground allspice
- 8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 Medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 2 Tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 Tsp of the following (to taste) – ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- Juice of one lime
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup white vinegar
- Chop the onions, garlic and peppers. These do not need to be chopped too fine as they will be liquidated by the blender.
- Blend all of the ingredients (excluding the chicken) in a blender to make the jerk sauce.
- Cut the chicken up in to 4 pieces.
- Rub the sauce in to the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later.
- Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinade overnight.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the meat then bake for a further 30 minutes.
- Grill the meat slowly until cooked, turning regularly. Baste with some of the remaining marinade whilst cooking. For best results, cook over a charcoal barbeque (ideally over a rack of pimento wood).
- Chop each quarter chicken portion in to 5 or 6 smaller pieces using a heavy cleaver.
- Use a wooden spoon (or something similar) to hold the chicken in place whilst chopping and NOT YOUR HAND (you will be chopping with enough pressure to cut through bone!!!)
- Serve with festival and salad or rice and peas or hardo bread and the jerk sauce left over for dipping.
I personally love enjoying mine with fried sweet plantain, and voila, a festival in your mouth! 😀
Enjoy your meal mon! 😀