Hey, have you ever tried jerk chicken? I took a trip all the way to Jamaica before I finally discovered this poultry wonder. I was sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun when my fellow sunbathers abandoned their chairs and rushed towards the hotel pool area. That’s when the afternoon jerk cart came on the scene and served up hot, fresh, Jamaican jerk chicken by the bowl full. The foodie in me had to see what the fuss was about and boy am I ever glad I did.
After the first bite, I instantly loved this spicy flavor-packed culinary wonder. As luck would have it, Tayan, the resort’s resident chefs, offered a cooking class to teach how to make authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. There was no arm twisting here. I was the first student in line for the class and parked myself front and center – ready to learn the secret behind this island classic.
That is where I learned the secret behind the best Jamaican jerk chicken on the planet. Authentic jerk chicken
The method of jerk has an interesting history. Dating back to the original inhabitants of the island, the Carib-Arawak Indians would capture an animal, clean, gut, and jerk the meat with a sharp object to create holes. They then stuffed the holes with a variety of spices. These holes would allow heat to escape without losing the moisture in the meat. Finally, they placed the carcass in a deep pit lined with stones and covered it with green wood. Once a fire was ignited, the smoke would permeate the meat and give it a smoked flavor. This age-old cultural tradition of cooking meat is how jerk chicken came to be.
If you’ve never tried jerk chicken before, you don’t have to go all the way to Jamaica to enjoy the authentic version of this delightful dish. Marinate your chicken today and by tomorrow, you will enjoy a taste of the Caribbean right from your own kitchen.
A quick word of caution, make sure to only use the green, orange, or red Scotch Bonnett peppers and stay far away from the brown and purple. They are dangerously hot! As they say in Jamaica, “Mi a
Find some of my other Jamaican recipes here:
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you’ve made it please share it with me by tagging @culinary.butterfly on Instagram or @culinarybutterfly on Pinterest, or by using the hashtag #culinarybutterfly on Facebook
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