“Jerk” chicken doesn’t refer to obnoxious birds, but rather a blend of spices usually in the form of a marinade. Originating from Jamaica, variations generally include allspice, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper, but many of the other ingredients vary. This marinade tastes fairly spicy, but mellows out quite a bit upon cooking. I love spicy food but one of the things I love about jerk seasoning is that the flavours are complex. I find if it’s too hot, this gets lost in the burning sensation. If you find you want it hotter, it’s easy enough to add another pepper, or add the seeds back in for heat if you de-seeded it. If you taste the marinade and find it very hot for your palate, you can reduce the heat by brushing the marinade on your meat as it is cooking rather than marinating it in the sauce.
Makes: about 1 1/4 cups of marinade
- 1/2 cup lime juice (juice from 3-4 limes)
- fresh ginger 1 1/2 inch piece
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 4-5 green onions(scallions)
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper- seeds and ribs removed if desired
Roughly chop all ingredients and add to food processor. Blend until smooth. This can be used as a marinade for chicken or pork. Leftover marinade can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I usually use 1/4 cup of marinade for 4 bone-in chicken thighs. They can be marinated for a few hours or overnight for more flavour. BBQ over medium low with the lid closed except for turning. Flip chicken every 5-7 minutes for 25 minutes until cooked through. Serve with traditional Jamaican peas and rice or a fresh salad.