Chicken is one of the healthiest and tastiest meats with very high protein content. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is one of the famous delicacies originating from the tropical country of Jamaica. It is smoky with an aromatic taste to it. Jerk chicken is the best combination with the authentic Salsa and Coconut Rice.
Critical Traits of Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Jerk is a Jamaican cooking style wherein they rub the meat dry or marinate it with the Jerk Spice. When you taste Jamaican jerk chicken, you will notice a particular taste of Scotch Bonnet Peppers and Ginger. These two ingredients add a lip-smacking factor to the dish.
Other than the conventional way, you can strip and put it on baked sweet potatoes with salsa. You can also take a naan with jerk sauce and top it with jerk chicken for a different experience. Just like this, you can try jerk chicken with many different dishes.
The origin of Jerk chicken goes back to the Carib-Arawak people who taught this method of cooking to the African slaves. Jerk chicken is firstly coated with the spices and then simmered over a grill constituting of green wood on burning coal. The smoke that comes out gives the dish a smoky flavor. As the name goes, the meat was ‘jerked’ with sharp tools and then filled with spices.
I recommend fresh, but freezing is necessary
This recipe demands the freezing and sealing of the chicken with the marinade from 8-24 hours at the least. So, you have to seal the chicken with the marinade and let it marinate for the night.
Fresh meat is always the best. In some cases, the freezing of meat may lead to the meat being less juicy overtime. But, freezing the flesh is the only option if nobody is using it. Either way, the meat has a great taste, and there is no difference in between.
Time to prepare the marinade
We have to begin by preparing the marinade for the dish. Firstly, we will collect and mix all the ingredients. After that, it is time to put all the ingredients in a blender and let it blend until we obtain a puree.
Quick tip: Make sure to make the dry spices in a large quantity. This way, you will be saving time and effort while you grill the chicken.
Now, as the puree is ready, we will mix the marinade with the chicken. Do not forget to season the chicken with salt. We will seal it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the refrigerator for some hours. The best option is to let it marinate overnight.
Quick tip: If you are not using a Ziploc bag, use an airtight container. Do not use a metal container, and do not keep the lid open.
It's time to heat up the grill
- While grilling, dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and rub it on the grates till it is well-coated.
- It is essential to let it cook until it turns brown. Once it is brown and crispy, we will reduce the heat.
- For finishing the cooking, move the chicken to the part of the grill that is cooler.
- Cover it and let it grill until it is thorough, which will take a few more minutes.
Quick tip: Brush the chicken with the leftover marinade for enhancing the taste of the dish.
Let it rest for a while. After that, the dish will be ready. You can serve it with the Mango Avocado Salsa and rice to enjoy it in the Jamaican way.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- 1 onion (small) in chunks
- 2 scallions in quarters
- 1 Scotch bonnet without seeds
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- 1 tsp Asian five-spice powder
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp thyme (dry)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2.5 - 3 pounds chicken (thighs, wings, drumsticks)
- 1. During mixing ingredients, add all the ingredients except the chicken.
- 2. Now put them in a grinder and keep grinding till the vegetables are smooth, and the texture is gritty.
- 3. Season the chicken with salt. Then add the puree (marinade) and mix well.
- 4. Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it for 8-10 hours.
- 5. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
- 6. Now you can put the chicken on the grill with the skin facing down. Cover and cook till the skin turns brown, which will take 10 minutes.
- 7. Make the skin side face-up, then move the chicken to the cooler part of the grill and let it cook for 15 more minutes.
- Be extremely cautious while dealing with scotch bonnet pepper. It is quite hot and can cause an irritating sensation if it comes in contact with your eyes.
- Tastes best when served immediately after the chicken is ready to eat.