This has to be in my top 10 favourite foods of all time. Legit. It’s hot, it’s spicy, it’s colourful, it’s bold .. all in all, there is something super sexy about jerk chicken.
It’s taken me a while of trial and error to get this recipe to where it is now, many successes and failures but nonetheless delicious. I do not claim that this recipe is authentic or traditional – let’s make that clear asap. But from what I have learnt about jerk chicken regarding it’s methods and flavour profiles, I have derived this version.
This recipe is totally adaptable to pork and fish (and possibly tofu) too, so don’t just limit yourself to chicken – I have just found that holds the flavours beautifully without being too overpowering and yet still donates a certain wholesomeness and meatiness to it. I’ve done this with chicken tenderloins, drumsticks, thigh pieces, breasts, supremes mary-lands and humble little wings. Personally, I prefer to break down a whole bird, and cut it up in a chunky Chinese-style that way I can have a little bit of every meat – yep, greedy, huh?
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
– 1 whole free-range chicken, or 2kg of chicken pieces
– 2 1/2 teaspoons of all-spice (pimento)
– 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
– a pinch of ground clove
– 3 decent sized cloves of garlic, smooshed
– 1cm knob of ginger, roughly chopped
– 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped for leaves
– 1 scotch bonnet pepper (my local grocer had none, so I just used two whole long red chillies – seeds in!), deseeded and roughly chopped – DO NOT underestimate the ‘burney’ potential of these little suckers; either wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after preparation!
– 35ml of spiced rum
– 1/4 zest of lime + 1/4 zest of lemon
– salt and pepper
1. In a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, ginger, chilli pepper, thyme, citrus zests and spices until relatively smooth.
2. Add the rum, and a VERY generous pinch of salt and a good cracking of black pepper, then combine. Set 1/4 of the marinade aside for basting.
3. Cover your chicken generously in your remaining marinade, cover and allow to mellow in the marinade for a MINIMUM of 4hrs or overnight – trust me! You’ll thank me later.
4. Heat up your BBQ to a medium to high heat.
5. Remove chicken from the refridgerator and cook on a medium to high heat, skin facing up for approximately 15-20minutes, basting every 5-8minutes, rotating and flipping halfway through.
7. Allow to rest covered for 5minutes before serving.
8. Serve HOT! garnished with lime wedges, chilli and spring onions 😀 + hot roasted potatos and sweet potatos. YESYESYES