A friend asked me about making Jerk Chicken from scratch the other day, so I dug around for some recipes to give it a try. The verdict:- “better than in Jamaica” according to my son, spice connoisseur of the family, and I must say this was very tasty indeed.
This picture shows the chicken which has been marinaded in the sauce overnight and is now ready for the oven. It is surrounded with the ingredients for the rice and peas, the traditional accompaniment to this dish.
• 4 chicken quarters with skin
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 quantity dry jerk seasoning (see below)
• 1 quantity juicy jerk seasoning (see below)
For the dry jerk seasoning
• 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
• 1 tsp ground allspice
• 1 tsp mixed dried savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil and tarragon
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
For the juicy jerk seasoning
• 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1 spring onion, green end only, chopped
• 1 onion chopped
• 1/4 tsp chilli powder
• 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
• 2 tbsp ground allspice (pimento)
• 2.5cm/1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 3 tbsp mixed dried herbs
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 3 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
• 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
• 1 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
• 500ml/18 fl oz bottle tomato ketchup
How to make jerk chicken
1. Rinse the chicken under cold running water, then sprinkle over the lemon juice, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Put the chicken into a non-metallic dish. Rub in the dry seasoning, then pour on the juicy jerk seasoning and turn the chicken until coated. Chill for 4 hours or overnight, if you’ve time.
3. Turn out into a deep ceramic roasting dish and roast in a pre-heated oven at 220C (gas mark 7) for 50 minutes turning over the chicken pieces halfway through.
4. Serve with rice and peas (see recipe below) and chilli barbecue sauce if desired.
Rice and Peas
The ‘peas’ in this dish are kidney beans and if you are cooking the dry variety rather than canned, make sure that they are cooked thoroughly before you add them to this recipe as they can be toxic if not cooked properly.
3 Cups of Rice
2 Cups Water
1 Can of Coconut Milk
4oz cooked Kidney Beans or one Can of Kidney Beans (strained & washed)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
3 tbsps of Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic crushed
3 Spring Onions crushed
Fry the crushed garlic in the oil for about three minutes then stir in the rice and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and the two cups of water.
Add the salt and pepper, the kidney beans, the crushed spring onions and the scotch bonnet pepper whole. Don’t chop it up as we just want to impart a peppery flavour to the water.
Bring to the boil, cover and leave on minimum heat for 40 minutes. You can check after 20 minute that this is not drying out. There should be a small amount of steam escaping from the lid which tells you there is sufficient water. If not, just add a bit more without soaking it. After 40 minutes, the rice will be cooked and there should be no water left in the pan. Serve with the jerk chicken.
Camera: Nikon D5000
Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5
Focal Length: 22mm
Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/3.8
Post Processing: Photoshop CS3
All images © 2010 John Hooton Photography