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The Caribbean Kitchen - Recipe 006

006 - Jerk Chicken

006a - Jamaican Jerk Marinade

from "Jerk - Barbecue from Jamaica"
By Helen Willinsky

added 04February2000




Jerk Chicken Jamaican Jerk Marinade
Preparation time:
Cooking time:
To serve:
About 10 minutes
30 to 40 minutes
6 North Americans
  (or 4 West Indians)
Preparation time:
Cooking time:
To serve:
10 minutes
0 minutes
about 1 1/2 cups

2 Whole Chickens (or 3.5 lb 1.6kg)
1.5 Cups (750ml) Jerk Marinade

Ingredients: (Yield: about 1 1/2 Cups)

1 med Onion, finely chopped
1/2 C (250ml) Scallion finely chopped
          (about 1 bunch)
2 tsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1 tsp Salt (Kosher or sea salt is preferable)
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Jamaican Pimento (Allspice) ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon ground
1 Hot Pepper, finely ground*
1 tsp Black Pepper ground
3 T Soy Sauce
1 T Oil
1 T Cider or White Vinegar
Dash Hot Sauce (optional)

Tip: If you want less heat, scrape the seeds and membranes from the peppers before blending them.

Chili Warning: Handling these peppers with your bare hands can have uncomfortable results! Wearing rubber gloves should provide you the protection you need, and please remember not to touch your eyes, nose, mouth (or other "sensitive" tissues).

Authentic Jerk Chicken should be cooked over combination of coals and pimento wood. If you do not have pimento wood, try apple, allspice, or hickory. But just coals or gas cooking will work fine too.

Jerk Chicken is great served with baked sweet potatoes, and we also suggest serving this with ice-cold Jamaican beer.


Jerk Marinade - 1.5 Cups (750ml):

Mix together all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade which is ideal for chopping and combining. You should blend to your preference of either a fine or coarse consistency.

Store unused marinade in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar for up to 1 month.

If the marinade is not hot enough, add a dash or two of hot sauce.

Dried hot peppers can be Bonny (Scotch Bonnet), Jalapeno, Serrano, or Anaheim.


Jerk Chicken:

Cut 2 Whole Chickens (or 3.5 lb 1.6kg), into serving pieces. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.

Coat the chicken with the jerk marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours - overnight is better.

Place the chicken pieces on the grill over hot coals skin side down. Baste every 10 to 15 minutes with the marinade.

Over a hot grill the chicken will cook in 30 to 40 minutes. The chicken is done with the flesh is firm and the juices run clear.


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