Jerk Chicken is a heavily spiced grilled chicken that originated in Jamaica, the word came from the cooking style “Jerk” where meat is dry rubbed or wet marinated with a Jerk Spice. The Jerk Spice usually contains an array of different spices like allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, spring onions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. The Jerk Spice in turn came from an African cuisine but it changed heavily to adapt to local ingredients found in Jamaica.
For this post I will be making it really simple and it will only involve 3 steps: blend, marinate and cook just be careful when preparing one as the chillies used here are really hot so use food gloves when handling them. A really hot and spicy treat but it is so good specially when matched with something cold and sweet like a Mango salsa.
Ingredients (Jerk Chicken)
1 kg chicken thighs and legs
Ingredients (Jerk Marinade)
1/2 cup malt vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp dark rum
3 pcs birds eye, habanero or Scotch bonnet chillies, add more if you want it hotter
4 stalks spring onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp allspice
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 thumb sized ginger, sliced
freshly ground black pepper
1. Place all Jerk Marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.
2. Place chicken in a container that you can seal tight, pour the Jerk Marinade over the chicken then distribute evenly. Cover the container then refrigerate for at least 12 hrs.
3. Remove chicken from the container and place them on a baking rack. Reserve the leftover marinade in the container and pour it on top of chicken. Place chicken in a 170C preheated oven then cook for 50 minutes, change the oven mode to grill and increase the heat to 220C, grill for 10 minutes or until light charring occurs.
4. Serve with Mango Salsa and Rice.