My inspiration for this Authentic Jerk Chicken was a dinner my wife and I had at EL BUREN in Highwood, IL. For those of you that know Highwood, it is historically been known for its Italian restaurants. It has expanded in recent years and one of its newer restaurants is this Caribbean restaurant. I pushed my wife to try the new restaurant with me and we were not disappointed. The jerk chicken was amazing.
My wife told our waitress that I was a food blogger. She told the owner/chef and he came out and talked to us. We talked for at least an hour. This food blogger was in heaven. I drilled the chef about his cooking and learned not only about his recipes about his butchering. From this conversation and how much we liked the jerk chicken, I had to try and make it myself. I made a mental note of the ingredients he used and I tried to re-create his recipe. I ended up really making it my own and it was so good.
What is JERK CHICKEN? What I learned is that it comes from a Spanish word. In America, it became what we know as jerky. The Caribbean version is thought to be quite hot. It does use Scotch bonnet peppers – HOT! It is blended with so many ingredients that the heat is nicely balanced with a bunch of citrus and herbs. In my recipe, I added lemon, lime, orange and pineapple juice. I also used a whole bunch of cilantro, thyme and parsley. The chicken is marinated with the mixture and cooked in a cast iron skillet. I made my version healthier too by using skinless chicken.
The cast of characters for the jerk and then everything that went into my stew.
Combining the jerk ingredients and marinating the chicken.
Adding the rest of the vegetables to the chicken for the jerk stew.
The Authentic Jerk Chicken Plated.
Authentic Jerk Chicken
- 2 Lbs Chicken Thighs
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 1/4 Bunch Parsley
- 4 Whole Scallions
- 2 Whole Scotch Bonnet Peppers ends removed
- 1 Whole Orange
- 1 Whole Spanish Onion quatered
- 2 Tbsp Gluten free soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Pineapple juice
- 1 Tbsp Lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp White wine vinegar
- 2 Tsp Molasses
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Coriander
- 1/2 Tsp Cloves
- 1 Tsp Ginger
Vegetables and Finishing Dish
- 2 Lbs Red Potates boiled and halved
- 8 Whole Organic Small Carrots
- 1 Whole Pear sliced
- 1 Lb Pigeon Peas
- 15 Ounces Chick Peas
- 15 Ounces Black Beans
- 1 Head Yellow Cauliflower
- 2 Whole Large shallots sliced
- 1 Package Bella mushrooms
- 1 Whole Lemon squeezed
Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken. Blend until fully pureed. Pour over the chicken thighs and place in a bowl and marinate at least overnight.
Vegetables and Finishing Dish
Cook the beans and the chick peas according to the package instructions. Set aside.
Par boil the red potatoes. Remove and cut them in half.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken with the marinade and try to get a good sear. Next, add the carrots and get a good sear on them as well. Finish by adding the rest of the ingredients and move to a 325 degree oven. Cook for about 30 minutes. Before serving, mix well to get all the marinade ingredients mixed around. The last step is to squeeze the lemon all over and mix well.
Serve and enjoy!