Bon Appetit: Jamaica

Jamaica: Jerk Chicken

This is my tenth country, so I am 1/5 of the way done! Slightly behind, but not too bad. I’m really enjoying this and so glad I decided to do it.

I made Jamaican jerk chicken, and while jerk chicken is probably one of the more common Jamaican meals in the US, according to my sources, it’s also authentically one of the most popular dishes in Jamaica. Here’s the site that explains Jamaican cuisine, and if you scroll down, this is the recipe I used for the chicken.

Now, I thought jerk was the seasoning, but it’s actually the cooking method. Here’s the explanation from this site:

“”Jerking” is a native Jamaican method of spicing and slowly cooking meat to preserve the juices and produce a unique, spicy flavor. First, a seasoning that usually contains hot peppers, onions, garlic, thyme, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon is rubbed all over the meat. The jerked meat is then cooked over an outdoor pit lined with wood, usually from the pimento.”

I do not have an outdoor pit in my little third floor walkup urban apartment, so a stovetop grill had to suffice.

Making the marinade was fun, SO easy with my food processor and it smelled amazing.

I have this handy little spoon that I use to de-seed hot peppers. Be careful of getting juice under your fingernails, it burns, and doesn’t stop burning for a long time! Take my advice, use a little spoon.

Also, limes can be hard to juice, so microwaving them (and lemons, too!) for 20 seconds or so before juicing them makes them easier to extract all the juice.

[Please ignore my dirty microwave. Spring cleaning is slotted to take place this Saturday]

Have I mentioned I love my food processor?

I marinated the chicken in a large bag overnight.

I saved some of the marinade aside to baste the chicken while grilling.

A plate of yummy jerk chicken for six:

Mike and Marya brought Jamaican Ginger Beer! I had never had it before, but it was delicious. Sort of a like a VERY gingery ginger ale.

We also had a great salad and delicious cupcakes, thanks to Erica and Katie and Mike, which I failed to take pictures of.

Here’s the great friends I shared the meal with:

L to R: Marya, Mike, Erica, Katie, Mike

Notes for Next Time:

I really liked the marinade, and wanted more of it! Next time I should pound the chicken breasts so they are thinner and more even, which will increase the marinade:chicken ratio and would take less cooking time, which I think would make the chicken more moist and more flavorful.

About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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2 Responses to Bon Appetit: Jamaica

  1. Dd- says:

    Z- l have been to Jamaica twice, and LOVED the Jerk Chicken – have had it a number of times state-side and if l was reduced to one food – it would be this. Your guests were blessed. Any leftovers 🙂

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