Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

As synonymous with Jamaica as reggae, Jerk (which can be used as a noun and a verb) is thought to have derived from a combination of African cooking methods brought with slaves and the local seasonings native Indians used to preserve their meats. These days, Jerk Chicken (and pork) can be found on street corners island wide, slowly smoked over a pimento and wood fire, enjoyed with a slice of hard dough bread and an ice cold Red Stripe.

One 3 ½ - 4 lbs. chicken (or 3 lbs. of chicken breast)
6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
2 tbsp. ground pimento seeds
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium onions, finely chopped
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. of the following (or to taste): ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

Blend all the seasonings to make a marinade for the chicken. Chop the chicken into quarters and rub marinade all over chicken. Place in a covered bowl or ziploc bag overnight. Jerk chicken over pimento wood on a coal barbecue grill, basting as you go along with remaining marinade. Serve with fried festivals, hard dough bread, rice and peas or salad. Pimento chips are available online or at some gift shops in Jamaica.