Wow. Just… wow.
I am sitting here in amazement wondering, “why have I never made this before?” This is decidedly the meal that I am going to be making at least twice a week for the
next few months rest of my life.
Jerk seasoning is very unique and very versatile. It’s extremely aromatic from the allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, spicy from the jalapenos, savory from the onion, and slightly sweet with the addition of honey. Yum yum yum. This combo is anything but bland, so if you are looking for something along those lines, I would recommend something like my shepherd’s pie (because sometimes, you just want something simple!).
And while this is extremely simple and easy to make, the taste is anything but simple.
Guys, I can’t keep committing to making every single thing I discover and fall in love with twice a week. I need to be more realistic. Sigh. There’s just not enough time (or stomach space) to eat all the delicious things in this world.
Also, moderation. Yup, that.
I made chicken drumsticks and seared them in a cast iron skillet, finished cooking in the oven, and cooked fresh corn on the cob from the Salem farmer’s market– it was picked THIS MORNING! And… wait for it… mixed melted butter with jerk seasoning and brushed it on the corn. (WHOA. I know.)
Enjoy this jerk chicken on its own, cut up in a salad, in a sandwich, or as a base for chicken salad. Or, in PASTA! (getting lots of ideas in my head all of a sudden… uh oh.) You can also use jerk seasoning on fish (maybe as a substitute for fresh lemon pepper?), on veggies, and other meats. The possibilities are endless.
Best of all? We have leftover jerk corn that I’m going to use this weekend to make black bean and corn salad to bring to work with tortilla chips. I love using leftovers up!
Hope you enjoy this as much as Oscar, the most interesting cat in the world, did:
Note: The first time I made this I used my cast iron skillet to cook the chicken the entire time. Because of the high heat and fresh jalapenos, garlic, and scallions, the seasoning burned quickly resulting in every single smoke alarm in our apartment going off. It was not the most relaxing cooking experience. This is why I recommend searing then roasting in the oven. Alternatively, you can bake the entire time- you just won’t have as crispy skin as searing first!
Weekend prep: Mix the seasoning and marinate the chicken, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, when you are ready to cook, it will only take about 20 minutes!
Variation: This recipe uses some pantry items (dried spices) and some fresh ingredients. To make a jerk seasoning completely from pantry items (so you can make in bulk and keep on the shelf), omit the scallions, substitute the jalapenos with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and substitute the minced fresh garlic with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Omit the honey or replace with 1 teaspoon sugar.
Freezer directions: Freeze marinated raw chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. When ready to cook, remove from freezer and place in refrigerator 2 days before cooking to defrost.
Jamaican Jerk Grilled Chicken
- 1 lbs. chicken drumsticks or thighs, or breasts
- 4 ears corn husked
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 2 scallions sliced thinly and finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 small jalapenos finely chopped de-seed if you do not want it to be spicy
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Combine all ingredients (except for the chicken and corn) in a gallon-sized freezer bag, bowl, or container. Reserve 1 teaspoon seasoning.
- Add chicken to bag or bowl; toss to coat.
- Marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but preferably overnight.
- Sear chicken skin-side down on grill pan or heavy skillet for approximately 2 minutes. Grill on other side for approximately 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet (or keep in skillet if oven proof). Bake the chicken at 375 for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked. (alternatively, you can bake the chicken for the entire time for 30 minutes, or until cooked.)
- Meanwhile, cook corn however you like (I recommend boiling or grilling).
- When chicken and corn are ready, mix melted butter with reserved jerk seasoning and brush on corn.
- Eat with lots of napkins.