Jerk chicken is the most well-known Jamaican dish to have been exported from the island. You know what I'm talking about: moist pieces of poultry that are full of soaked-up marinade flavor, with burnished skin and crispy, blackened bits of meat courtesy of the grill the chicken is cooked on.
But if you've never had the chance to visit the tiny nation that jerk chicken hails from, then you've never really had the authentic dish. Here's why: true jerk chicken is cooked not just over coals, but also over fresh green wood: most traditionally, wood from the pimento tree, which is native to the Caribbean and produces another very important jerk chicken ingredient—allspice berries, used in the marinade—or sometimes sweetwood, the Jamaican name for the laurel tree.
I love Jerk Chicken so much that I managed to get my hands on real pimento wood chips from Jamaica. In Canada you can purchase it here
The combination of charcoal, this marinade and pimento wood chips makes for a amazing jerk chicken!!
5 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Notes: If you’re using dried thyme, use about 1/2 table spoon. This makes about 3 cups of marinade and it can be stored in the fridge for about 1 month.
Basically all you’ll be doing is making a puree with all the ingredients I mentioned above. So you’ll need a blender or food processor.
Rough chop the scallions, peppers, garlic, onion and thyme and place in the food processor to make it easier to puree. Remember when working with these hot peppers to wear gloves (the natural oil is deadly). Also note that most of the heat is within the seeds and the membrane that surround the seeds. So to control the heat, discard those. However, for that true authentic Jamaican feel.. keep the entire peppers.
Now add all the other ingredients and pulse to start. Then run the puree speed for about 2-3 minutes until everything breaks down to a smooth consistency.