Crikey! Are you ready for a food journey to Jamaica without leaving your kitchen? Right, hold on to your taste buds, we're talking about Jerk Chicken!
Now, this isn't any run-of-the-mill chicken recipe. Nope! Jerk Chicken is an absolute legend, born out of Jamaica's spicy and flavorful culinary tradition. It's all about marinating chicken in a rambunctious mix of spices and herbs, and slow-cooking it over a smoky fire.
The marinade is a proper party of flavours, mates! We're talking lime juice, thyme, garlic, green onions, allspice, cinnamon and the real showstopper, the Scotch bonnet pepper. Now, this cheeky little devil is a hot one, known for its fiery kick. But you can adjust it to suit your taste, no worries.
Back in the day, jerk chicken was all about the pimento wood grill. The wood added a smoky je ne sais quoi to the chicken. These days, you can make it on your regular grill, grill pan, or even in your oven. Simple as that!
Jerk chicken is often paired with rice and peas or grilled plantains. It's a flavour-packed symbol of Jamaican cuisine, and it will leave you coming back for more, no question.
Fancy giving it a go or just looking for a zesty, aromatic chicken dish to impress your mates at the next BBQ? Give Jerk Chicken a whirl! And for more such global recipes and food adventures, drop by CookeryHQ - it's our little hangout for food enthusiasts and recipe creators. Can't wait to see you there!
2 pounds chicken pieces (legs, thighs, or a whole chicken cut into pieces)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper (optional for heat)
For the jerk marinade:
In a blender or food processor, combine soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, vegetable oil, brown sugar, thyme leaves, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped green onions, ground allspice, ground black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, and the Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (if using). Blend until smooth.
For the chicken:
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.
Pour the jerk marinade over the chicken, making sure each piece is coated evenly. You can use a spoon or your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken.
Cover the bowl or seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight for the best flavor.
To cook the Jerk Chicken:
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. You can also use a grill pan or bake the chicken in the oven at 375°F (190°C).
Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off.
Grill the chicken over direct heat for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for chicken pieces. Adjust the cooking time if using a whole chicken.
While grilling, baste the chicken occasionally with the remaining marinade to keep it moist and add extra flavor.
Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
Serve the Jerk Chicken hot with your choice of sides, such as rice and peas, grilled vegetables, or a fresh salad.