I love to cook something special on Sundays as I mostly have to bear with the food cooked by my maid on weekdays.
Last week I had attempted Hawaiian Chicken, and this really made me decide to use the grill method in my OTG more often. So, this time too, I picked two recipes that used the baking and grill method – Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Tandoori Chicken.
In both recipes, the marinade is the most important component and needs to be rubbed into the chicken pieces and kept overnight for optimum flavour.
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice.
Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients may include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt
I have substituted Scotch Bonnet peppers with green chilli peppers in the recipe. Also, I have replaced the brown sugar with honey.
Jerk is also derived from the action of jerking, which referred to poking meat with holes so that flavor could more easily be absorbed.
The term jerk spice (also commonly known as Jamaican jerk spice) refers to the wet marinade here that is rubbed into the slashes of the chicken meat.
Interestingly, Jerk Chicken is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.
The mix of the sweetness of the honey, the spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and the heat of the green chilli peppers make for an interesting combination and provide a burst of flavour with each bite. What I loved most is to give them a charred finish under the grill.
Cheat's version of Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Jamaican barbecue Chicken marinated with a sweet-spicy-hot mix and grilled to a charred flavour.
- Chicken Thighs or Chicken Drumsticks – 4 pieces (with skin is best)
- Onion – 1 large chopped roughly
- Ginger – 3 cm piece peeled and chopped
- Garlic – 5 cloves
- Green Chillies – 2 to 4
- Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp or to taste
- Cinnamon powder (Dalchini) – 1 tsp
- Nutmeg Powder (Jaiphal) – 1/2 tsp
- Clove Powder (Laung) – 1/2 tsp
- Honey – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Oil – 4 tbsp
- Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
- Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Take all the ingredients for the marinade and using a blender, blend into a smooth puree.
- Make deep cuts across the chicken pieces. This will make it easier for the marinade to penetrate the meat.
- Take a zip-lock bag and put the chicken pieces into it. Pour the marinade over the chicken and rub it in. Seal the bag after letting out the air and rest it overnight in the refrigerator. If you are in dearth of time, then a minimum of 2-3 hours is needed for marinating.
- After the marination is complete, it is time to prepare it. Preheat the oven to 180-degree Celcius.
- Line a broiler pan with foil or parchment paper and grease it with melted butter or oil. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them over the pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes until done.
- Turn up the temperature to 250-degree Celcius and change to the grill mode. Grill for 1 minute till the meat surface gets charred a little.
- Now, the meat will have a nice colour and is ready to be served.8. Enjoy with rice or pasta or just by itself with some salsa.
I sure hope that you try out this recipe and enjoy it like I did. Coming back with more such delightful ones! Please leave you thoughts below.