Jerk chicken is probably the dish most people associate with Caribbean cuisine. The name comes from both the method of cooking on a barbecue known as a jerk drum and the actual seasoning itself. Everyone has a different recipe but allspice and scotch bonnet peppers are essential.
You can jerk pork or fish or even tofu, but chicken is the classic. Cook it on the bone to keep it tender and allow the skin to crisp up. Traditionally served with rice and peas and hot sauce on the side, you’ll soon see why it’s so popular.
Rub the chicken quarters with the salt and garlic powder. When you quarter a chicken it combines breast and leg meat for the best of both worlds.
To make the jerk seasoning paste, combine all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or pestle and mortar and blend until well combined. Spread the paste over the chicken pieces and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
You can also cook the chicken outside on a barbecue which will enhance the flavour. Use a mixture of charcoal and wood chips you’ve soaked in water to get lots of smoke going, giving it an authentic Jamaican taste.
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