A tongue-tingling, finger-licking, spicy grilled Jerk Chicken!
I recently returned from a wonderful adventure-packed vacation to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We spent the better part of our four days scuba diving, zip-lining, on ATV’s, tubing down rivers and jumping off cliffs into deep pools of waters by rivers and waterfalls along them. It was Awesome!
And as with any vacation or trip of mine…when it came to food…I soaked in as much of the local flavor as I could! Jerk chicken, jerk pork, hot sauces, goat curry, beef patties, red snapper in coconut sauce, fried plantain…I tried it all and absolutely loved it. Jamaican cuisine is bold, spicy with complex flavors and influences from India, creole and other Caribbean cuisines.
As Jerk Chicken is quite possibly the nations most popular dish, we had it everywhere we went, including the famous Scotchies (rated as the best place to have authentic jerk chicken made the traditional way). Featured on numerous food and travel shows Scotchies did not disappoint, the barbeque smells wafted into the parking lot drawing you into the rustic open air restaurant.
The jerk marinated chicken and pork was grilled (the chicken is butterflied & cooked) the traditional way on an open fire over a rack of pimento wood. It is then covered with pimento leaves and a sheet of zinc to allow it to smoke and cook slow and long. Once cooked the chicken is chopped up into pieces with the bone and served in tin foil and paper plates to be eaten with your fingers. You can eat the juicy chicken and pork as is or with a tongue tingling house hot-sauce made from fresh scotch bonnet peppers, if you can handle the heat! You can also get some traditional deep fried festival bread to help soften the heat.
Now while Scotchies was delicious, it wasn’t the best Jerk I tasted on my trip. That accolade goes to the Walkerswood Jerk chicken we had at the Chukka: Good Hope Estate. As part of our all day adventure package that included ATV’s, zip-lining across the jungle and rivers, tubing, rum tasting and a horse carriage plantation tour, we were treated to a simple jerk chicken lunch with steamed cabbage and festival bread that we couldn’t get enough of! Along with the array of Walkerswood hot sauces…it was easily the BEST jerk chicken we had ever tasted! They even had a few informative signs about the history and origins of Jerk.
So needless to say, I bought a bunch of the Walkerswood seasonings and hot sauces to take back with me to the states. And as soon as I got home I tried my hand at making Jerk Chicken with their Hot & Spicy Jerk marinade, which is a paste unlike the dry seasonings I’ve bought and tried before. I barbecued the chicken on my charcoal grill and the result was a tongue tingling, spicy grilled jerk chicken that was soooo juicy and delicious that my husband called it the best grilled chicken he has ever had. It tasted just like the best Jerk we had in Jamaica and beat out Scotchies too!
So today, my recipe is not really a recipe as I’m not making my own jerk marinade, but since my discovery of this store-bought marinade I doubt I’ll go through the trouble of making my own cos it’s perfect as it is. I’m not being paid (this is not a sponsored post) to advertise Walkerswood in anyway or form (though a lifetime supply would be nice ). I’m just sharing my views on one of the best out-of-a-jar marinade’s/seasoning’s I have ever come across. I also discovered that they sell them here in the States in some stores and it’s always available on Amazon too, which I am thrilled about. They also have a Mild Jerk Seasoning (which I haven’t tried) for those that aren’t a fan of spicy foods.
Here’s how you can make it…
- 1-3 tbsp Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (Hot & Spicy/Mild)
- 1 Whole Cut Up Chicken or Any Cut of your choice
- 1-2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
- Lime wedges (for garnish)
- - Rinse and pat dry your chicken piece and score slits into the bigger pieces of meat like the breasts and thighs to allow the marinade to permeate the chicken.
- - Then spoon over 1-3 tablespoons of Walkerswood jerk seasoning over the chicken and using your hands (with food gloves if possible) rub the marinade into the meat well on both sides. Allow the chicken to marinate overnight (best) or at least for a minimum of 4-6 hours.
- - Heat your grill up (in my case we use charcoal) and cook the chicken at about 325F-350F or with your coals on the lowest setting for about 35-45 minutes with the lid closed, turning over the chicken occasionally to grill it evenly on both sides.
- - Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot with beans 'n rice and pineapple salsa!
- I used the Hot & Spicy Jerk seasoning but they also have a mild version available