This Jerk Chicken is a Jamaican recipe that is a sweet, sour, and spicy blend of delight that will have your taste buds doing the happy dance. It’s perfect for a summertime barbeque and family get-togethers. Bring the island breeze to your next party with this Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe.
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica, in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- 1 whole chicken or 3 lbs of chicken breasts
Marinating Jerk Sauce
- 6 scotch bonnet peppers or jalapenos sliced
- 3 medium onions finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp allspice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 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 liquidized by the blender.
- Blend all of the ingredients (excluding the chicken) in a blender to make the jerk sauce.
- Cut the chicken up into 8 pieces, two breasts, two thighs, two wings, and two legs.
- Rub the sauce into the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later.
- Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- Grill the meat slowly until cooked, turning regularly. For best results, cook over a charcoal barbeque (ideally over a rack of pimento wood).
- Baste with some of the remaining marinade whilst cooking.
- Serve with salad or rice and peas or hard bread and the jerk sauce leftover for dipping.
History of the Jamaican Jerk Cooking Style
Jamaican jerk seasoning is believed to have been developed by escaped Coromantee slaves in Jamaica, but historians have unearthed evidence that jerked meat was first cooked by the indigenous Taíno peoples. During the invasion of Jamaica in 1655, the Spanish colonists freed their enslaved Africans who fled into the Jamaican countryside, intermingling with the remaining Taínos and becoming some of the first Jamaican Maroons. It is speculated that while the Taíno developed the style of cooking and seasoning, the escaped African slaves introduced the marinade and the cooking pits.
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