Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Spicy Grilled Jerk Chicken - a Caribean Specialty
Jerk seasoning is a Jamaican specialty – a spicy blend of garlic, onion, chillies, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, and a dozen other ingredients, though recipes vary – and traditionally used on pork and chicken. The meat is slowly grilled on pimento wood. Because the jerk marinade can burn easily, the chicken requires slow cooking on the grill, which also helps keep the meat moist.
Ingredients for 8 people
4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (1.5 kg)
1.5 kg chicken tighs
For jerk marinade:
6 fresh Scotch Bonnet chillies
1 bunch of scallions
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion
20 g fresh cilantro, chopped
20 g of parsley, chopped
5cm fresh ginger
1 tbsp fresh or 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh or 1 ½ tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp allspice, ground
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp of nutmeg, ground
½ tsp cinnamon, ground
3 EL lime juice
2 tblsp soy sauce
3 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp of coarse salt
Remove the stems and core the chillies. Peel the scallions and chop roughly. Dice the onion. Peel and chop the ginger.
For the jerk marinade, combine the lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, chillies, scallions, garlic, coriander, parsley, ginger, thyme and majoram in a blender/food processor until a smooth thick paste. Then add the remaining spices.
Make a few slashes in the chicken thighs and breasts and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge. Turn a couple of times.
On the grill:
If you want to barbecue your chicken, get the coals burning 1 hr or so before you’re ready to cook. Authentic jerked meats are sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.
In the oven:
Heat the oven to 180 – 200°C. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin and cook for 45 minutes until tender and cooked through.
Image Source: Fotolia - #112865290 - Spicy Grilled Jerk Chicken © Brent Hofacker