“JERK”: This method of cooking pork and chicken dates back to the Carib-Arawak Indians who inhabited Jamaica. After capturing an animal and thoroughly cleaning and gutting it, the Indians placed it in a deep pit.
Lined with stones and covered with green wood, which, when burned, would smoke heavily adding flavor to the food.
But first, the carcass was “jerked” with a sharp object to make holes, which were stuffed with a variety of spices. The holes also allowed heat to escape without loss of moisture.
The Back Story
I know that this recipe seems daunting, but believe me it is worth it. I went to Jamaica a few years back and had Jerk Chicken from a street vendor that came by the house we were staying in every night.
Maybe it was the contact high from the smoke wafting pass me constantly, but that was the best chicken I ever had.
I have searched “high” and low for a recipe that matches my memory. This one is it. – Jughandle
The meat is not only incredibly spiced with classic jerk seasonings, but moist and tender. If you are a lover of great Jamaican Jerk Chicken and this one doesn’t meet your standards, I want to hear about it.
Help Getting The Ingredients
Most of the time involved in making this dish is all about finding and putting together the ingredients.
The Fat Farm has helped you a little with the “Get Ingredients” button on the recipe. You can have them all delivered right to your door. Try it, let me know how you like it.
Jughandle's Jerk Chicken
- 5 lb Chicken Stuffing chicken cut into 8 pieces or 2 smaller fryers
For the marinade:
- 2 tbsps dark brown sugar or 1 tbsp molasses
- 6 cloves garlic fresh
- 2 tsp all spice ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground
- 1 tsp cloves ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1 tsp ginger ground or fresh grated
- 1/2 tsp sage dry sage
- 4 tsp Thyme fresh, or 2 tsp dry
- 1 Tbsp Lime zest the zest of your 4 limes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1.5 tsp black pepper grind fresh
- 4 Tbsp Lime Juice or the juice of 4 limes
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil EVOO
- 3/4 Cup Orange juice fresh is best, or use what you have
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup white vinegar
The Onions and Pepper:
- 2 Whole White Onion Large, Chopped or use 2 Vidalia onions
- 1.5 Cups Green onions minced - approx 1 bunch
- 1 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper clean and de-seed
- Seed and finely chop the Scotch Bonnet pepper.
- Butcher the whole chicken into 8 pieces and trim fat. I leave the skin on but you can remove it if you like.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the dry ingredients. The allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, lime zest, salt, garlic powder, salt, and brown sugar.
- Blend to combine or make a coarse mixture.
- Next pulse while adding the liquids. The olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice.
- Add the Scotch Bonnet pepper, onion, green onion, and blend 5-10 more seconds, leaving pieces of the pepper and onions visible.
- Put the chicken in a large plastic bag or bowl and pour only as much marinade on as it takes to coat and cover the chicken. Mix well to coat all parts of the chicken.
- Reserve the remaining marinade to make a sauce while the chicken is cooking.
- Remove air from the bag and seal, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap pushed down on the chicken. Marinate for at least 2 hours, or longer. Overnight if possible.
- Preheat an outdoor grill. In Jamaica the cooks use Pimento wood, but that is hard to come by in the states.
- Remove the chicken parts from the marinade and grill for 5 minutes on each side to brown and caramelize the marinade.
- Continue to cook for 10- 15 more minutes on each side or until fully cooked
- While grilling, baste with the marinade.
For a Sauce:
- Bring the leftover marinade to a boil and pour it on the finished chicken when it is done cooking or serve in a bowl for dipping. *Note - see cooking notes.*