Mar 6, 2012

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken , the first time I saw or heard of this dish was on the show Chopped on Food Network , where this contestant chef (Ric Orlando) prepared this dish as his entrĂ©e course using Quail from the mystery basket. Even the judges on the show were quite amazed that he was able to pull it off with such less time and so many ingredients and to their surprise it tasted great J!
I’m sure you would also be surprised if you saw the ingredient list of this delicious Jamaican / Carribean preparation. But the preparation is so simple!

I was simply excited to prepare this dish , as it uses some new and some familiar ingredients , all used in a combination that I would have never tried by myself otherwise.
I paired this spicy chicken with some Coconut Rice with Peas (as suggested in original recipe) for our special Valentines Dinner and the combo was a match made in heaven. The spicy chicken with the cool , mildly sweet coconut rice is perfect! I will be adding the recipe for the Coconut rice in another post soon.
But let me tell you, this dish can be very spicy for those who do not eat spicy dishes often , but for me and my hus it wasn’t overly spicy ( mayb that’s because there was brown sugar in the marinade J )

Jerk seasoning is easily available at most grocery stores, but I wanted to make the whole thing from scratch. It’s a spicy marinade (Dry or wet) mixture and the main spice quotient comes from the hottest pepper in the world – Habannero. These peppers are the most intensely spiciest peppers!! You can de-seed them if you do not want all that spice.
Its best if you marinate the chicken overnight or atleast for 2-3 hrs in the fridge for the flavors to fully get into the chicken. (I’ve read that you can use this marinade for fish , meat etc preparations too) .
I have followed the exact recipe given my Nigella Lawson on the foodnetwork website , with inclusion of a few ingredients that I saw commonly used in few other sites. And I must say, she knows more to cooking than cookies and cakes, the dish was extremely good and something totally different from what I've eaten so far! (I have copied the recipe almost exactly from foodnetwork site as I followed it exactly and there was no information to change)

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
Recipe source: FoodNetwork (recipe by Nigella Lawson)

You'll need

Chicken Thighs/Breast/Drumstick/Wings - approx 6-8 pieces
Ground Allspice - 2 teaspoons
Dried thyme - 2 teaspoons dried thyme
Cayenne pepper - 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Ground ginger- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
Ground nutmeg - 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Ground cinnamon - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Garlic -2 cloves (peeled)
Ginger - 2 inch piece (Original recipe: 1 1 3/4 piece gingerroot, peeled and cut into chunks)
Dark brown sugar - 2 tablespoons  (I used regular brown sugar)
Dark rum - 1/4 cup  (I used Red wine) - You can skip this entirely if you'd like
Lime juice - 1/4 cup
Soy sauce - 1/4 cup
Cider vinegar - 1/2 cup  (I used regular vinegar)
Red chiles -2 whole ( I used dry red chillies)
Onion - 1/2 large Cubed (Original recipe: 1 onion, peeled and quartered)

Habbanero Pepper - 1 whole (de-seeded , if you prefer a mild spice)
Spring onions - 2-3 stalks

1. Slash the chicken thighs/breasts/drunstick ,  each cut about 3/4-inch deep diagonally . Put them a ziploc bag or in a rectangular dish, slashed-side down.
2. Put all the other ingredients in the processor and blitz to a dark, earthy paste and pour and spread over the chicken pieces and leave to marinate  in refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours or in the refrigerator, (covered), overnight. (I placed it overnight in ziploc bags).
 most of the ingredients for the marinade (I forgot the onions here ;-) )
 Just before pureeing
ready to get in the oven!
3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Double-line a shallow roasting pan with aluminium foil. Tip into it the chicken with its marinade, slashed side up and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Take the pan out of the oven, just to pour off excess watery juices. Use a pastry brush and spoon to place any paste back on the chicken and cook for a further 30 minutes, by which time the chicken will be cooked through and tender with a thick fiery crust.
Garnish with Spring Onions!

My pics here don't do much justice to the actual look of this dish, its really a nice and dark brown and it smells awesome, wish I could capture that too on a pic ;-) There was a hint of spice that hits you when you are halfway chewing , but when paired with a nice combination of rice, it simply balances it out!
This a must try dish and something very unique...



  1. Looks Amazing! Just when I as thinking of something different for chicken.. trying it this week..

  2. yummy chicken..interesting version!

  3. manju, wats that ground allspice?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Uma,
      Actually Allspice is a dried berry (looks similar to peppercorns). It has a slight cinnamony + clove taste.
      (This is what wikipedia says: )
      I used store bought Allspice which was already ground.

      Since its a mandatory Jamaican spice , I could not do without it.
      (For a homemade substitute for about 1tsp Allspice : You can grind together 1/2 tsp Cinnamon + 1/2 tsp Nutmeg + 1/2 tsp Clove)

      Hope thats helps :-)

  4. been meaning to make this for so long. Thanks for a brilliant recipe

    1. Yummy Yummy...I Love this..


  5. nice, feel like eating it!

  6. Very yummy ,totally new to me but I liked the color of the chicken..mouthwatering!!
    Please link in your entries to EP Series-Cilantro /Cumin Event

    Erivum Puliyum

  7. Okay... my mouth is watering! You should put a warning on your post that this recipe and pictures could make a person really want to reach into the screen and grab one of those lovely pieces of jerk chicken!! Beautiful recipe. :)

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  9. Hello,
    I congratulate you for winning the Giveaway book at Anzzcafe.
    You have lovely recipes.
    I’m gladly following you...

  10. Hi manju, just now I saw your comment in my blog post of chocolate chip melting moments. Thank you so much for visiting my space. Loved this post.

  11. This looks like my kind of chicken, I love all jerk flavors - I know your husband was so happy with such a lovely dinner!

  12. Great recipe. Its Awesome. Love to have a platter now.

    Hamsamalini Chandrasekaran,

  13. interesting........looking just great..nice cliks..........

  14. Chicken looks so gorgeous and inviting


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