I totally love a jerk marinade. Are you worried it will be too spicy for you?
I do not know the science of it all but adding acid, from the juice of a fruit, to the habaneros, balances out the spice. It develops the flavor of the chicken to a deep, rich Caribbean combination of spices. I have made jerk chicken like 4 or 5 times in the last month. I love it so much and the following shows a couple of different ways I prepared it and served it as in my JAMIACAN JERK CHICKEN or my AUTHENTIC JERK CHICKEN.
The other key idea to compliment the heat in this recipe, as well as adding flavor, is by pairing a sweet salsa with the chicken. In this case, I created a very fresh, very simple, pineapple salsa. The pineapple added another citrus acidic note balancing out the moderate heat of the jerk. It also added a great color pop. The side I served with the Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa was a curried pigeon pea, hominy and carrot dish. These curried vegetables might have been the best part of this meal and I really, really liked the chicken.
I served this meal for friends, as I normally do. They say they do not like spicy and curry is OK. We were all devouring the vegetable curry side dish. It has great texture from the hominy, to the chickpeas and the al dente carrots. The curry was mild but rich and velvety. The whole meal was a “winner winner” chicken dinner. I always try to make different recipes but writing this post reminds me that I have to do this recipe again soon.
The jerk marinade ingredients in the blender.
The building of the Caribbean vegetable curry.
The Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Plated.
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
- 12 Whole Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp Allspice
- 2 Whole Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 4 Whole Garlic Cloves chopped
- 2 Inches Fresh Ginger grated
- 1/2 Whole Lime squeezed
- 1/2 Whole Orange
- 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 Bunch Fresh Cilantro
- 1/4 Cup Gluten free soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Black peppercorns
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Dark Molasses
- 1/2 Whole Red Onion quartered
- 1/2 Whole Pineapple diced
- 1/4 Whole Green Pepper diced
- 1/4 Whole Red Pepper diced
- 1 Whole Shallot diced
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro rough chop
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let marinate together for at least 60 minutes.
Put allspice, thyme, garlic, scotch bonnets, peppercorns, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, soy sauce, molasses, orange juice and lime juice in a blender and puree until combined.
Put chicken in a bowl, and cover with the marinate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove chicken from the marinate. In a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides - about 2 minutes per side. Put the chicken in a baking dish with the marinate added back.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Put the baking dish in the oven, uncovered. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Finish the dish under the low broiler for a minute or so to add to the char. Remove and serve with rice and red beans and tostones.