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 @culinarybutterfly on Pinterest.
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|Prep Time||25 minutes|
|Cook Time||25 minutes|
|Passive Time||1 hour|
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder or fresh
- 1 tablespoon granunulated sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 large lime, juiced
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (habanero), seeded and finely chopped Make sure to wear cloves when handling the peppers.
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 4-6 boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Prepare your ingredients before cooking.
- Wash and trim the chicken of fat. Using a sharpie knife, score the meat 3 to 4 times per breast so the flavors get deep into the meat.
- In a large bowl, combine allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt garlic, and sugar.
- Slowly whisk in the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice until all ingredients are blended.
- Add the scotch bonnet pepper and onions. Mix well. (Be careful handling the peppers - use gloves)
- Add the chicken breast. Using a spoon or gloved hands, coat the chicken with sauce. Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator. Marinate overnight (minimum 1 hour).
- Preheat the grill. Remove chicken from the marinade and grill on each side (basting with marinade as it cooks) until the temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 165° Fahrenheit inside.
- While chicken is cooking, transfer marinade to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Serve on the side as a dipping sauce.
NOTES & IDEAS:
- Scotch Bonnet Peppers add a beautiful kick of heat with a fruity punch. However, be sure to wear gloves when cutting them so they do not burn your skin.
- You can also use chicken legs, wings, and thighs.
Recipe by Lisa Soldo-Johnson for www.culinarybutterfly.com
Making it tonight. The marinade smells heavenly!
Wonderful, Chuck! I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please feel free to share pictures with me by tagging @culinary.butterfly on Instagram or @culinarybutterfly on Pinterest, or by using the hashtag #culinarybutterfly on Facebook. Thanks for trying my Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe. Enjoy!