Hey, have you ever had Jamaican Jerk Chicken? Isn’t it one of the most amazing chicken dishes you know?
Sorry you’ve been bombarded with this idea of Jerk Rice by Jamie Oliver. There’s just no such thing. Take it from us Jamaicans.
My mouth has been watering for some proper Jamaican Jerk Chicken since the last time I went to Jamaica two years ago. I mean the more I thought about it, the more I could smell it, hear them chopping it on the wooden chopping boards, and I could even hear the squishing and slurping of the ketchup, barbeque sauce or hot pepper sauce they would pile on while I waited. I just couldn’t taste it, and that’s what I wanted.
The more I thought about it, the more I drooled. And the more I drooled, the more I thought about buying myself some from one of these restaurants that proport to sell authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. Then I remembered two things: it was too expensive to buy for all the family, and also, the flavour was lost as they maybe made too little of the marinade for the amount of chicken they were cooking. But I wanted it.
And then it dawned on me! MAKE YOUR OWN! Sure I know how to make my own jerk marinade! And that’s exactly what I did and what I am going to share with you today.
By the way, I didn’t need to go out of the way to buy any unique ingredients as I had all of what I needed at home. Check my full recipe and you will see that you have what you need too! I decided to buy some chicken breast pieces (as some of my family members don’t like meat on the bones) and also a whole chicken with the skin removed. You know the whole deal about healthy eating and all that!
As the weather isn’t good enough yet, I did my jerk chicken in the oven and it turned out beautifully! If the weather was better I would use the Jamaican drum -style grill that I have in the back garden. I would also keep the skin on if I was to do it on the barbeque over the open flame. The skin would help to protect the meat from being burnt too much. Not only that, but I would get the amazing smoky flavour when the fat drips onto the flame- mmmm lovely!
One of the good things about making your own jerk marinade is that the basic ingredients and quantities I give you in the recipe will last you for a good couple months if stored in a clean jar in the refrigerator. You decide if you keep it for yourself to make more jerk chicken when you start to drool again, or whether you share the marinade with a neighbour or friend.
Here are some pics of the process. Click here for the full recipe.
You will need to start by gathering all the ingredients you need, As well as a little blender or food processor to make the job easy and prevent you from getting the hot peppers on your hands. You want to be really careful not to get it in your eyes.
The ingredients are then placed in a little blender and blitzed to create a somewhat chunky consistency.
I then cut the whole chicken into two and the breast pieces into bite-sized pieces.
There was enough marinade to use a full three tablespoons on the chicken and have enough left which I then bottled up in a labelled jar and refrigerated for later use.
As I said, I cooked my chicken in the oven for about an hour. Check that the chicken is cooked by inserting a food probe into a thick section. It should be reading at least 75 degrees Celsius. If you don’t have a food probe, cook the chicken until any juice runs clear when it is cut open.
You can do it!
So you know what? My chicken was absolutely amazing! Not only that, but my house now smells amazing! It reminds me so much of chilling back in Jamaica, where the Reggae beat is always within earshot, even if it’s with religious music. I can’t wait for summer to soak up some of the summer sunshine while I do my Jerk Chicken in my back garden.
I’m not saying I’m Mr Reggae Reggae sauce (Levi Roots) at all! Oh no, I’m Mrs Reggae Reggae Jamaican Jerk marinade. And mine is just as awesome.
I know that if you give this a go, you will have some friends who are shocked at your culinary skills and who will be begging you for some of your Jamaican Jerk Chicken or for some of the marinade so that they can make their own. Send them this link so they can make their own. To entice them, send them a pic with your own plate of homemade Jamaican Jerk Chicken. You can show off on my Facebook page too! Send your pics to Facebook.com/joleisa