There are many different theories regarding the term "jerk" which has to do with the process of spicing and grilling the meat. Some say that the word comes from the Spanish "charqui" (term for jerked or dried meat) or from the jerking and poking of the meat with a sharp object, thus producing holes which were filled with the spice preparation...
Traditionally, "jerk" was made with pork, but nowadays chicken, fish, tofu and even vegetables are used. In fact, there is an infinite variation of recipes and everyone will claim that their's is the one and only, but the truth is that all of them can be called "genuine" as long as they integrate the three following ingredients: scotch bonnet peppers, allspice and thyme.
Although my recipe doesn't really list any of the above mentionned ingredients (maybe in the ketchup), I feel that it is nonetheless authentic as it was adapted from Könemann's dense and mammoth-like cookbook dedicated to the cuisine Caribbean "Culinaria - The Caribbean: A Discovery" (all of their recipes are supposed to be authentic)... Of course, if you feel like adding those three ingredients, then that's up to you!
This "Caribbean Jerk Chicken" is a delicious sample of the flavors one can find in Jamaica. It is a spicy and perfectly perfumed sauce that brings tenderness to your meat. This dish is ideal for summer barbeques and will confer a holiday feeling to any of your meals or parties!
~Caribbean Jerk Chicken ~
2-4 Chicken legs or wings
1 White onion, finely chopped
A few chives, chopped
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1/4 Red chilli or 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Olive oil
2 Medium white onions, chopped
4-5 Cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbs Chopped fresh ginger
10 Tbs Ketchup
6oml Lime juice
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tsp Tamarind concentrate
1 Tbs Mild mustard
1/3 Tsp Ground allspice
1/4-1/2 Red chilli or 1/4-1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped
Salt, to taste
1. Process all the ingredients for the jerk sauce in a mixer until homogenously pureed. Set aside.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.
3. Place the chicken legs/wings in the marinade and leave in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. In a frying pan, fry the chicken wings until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
5. Add the jerk sauce, lower the heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the legs are cooked and the sauce has thickened.
Do not forget to turn the chicken legs/wings over while they are cooking in the sauce.
This dish can also be prepared differently. Instead of cooking the chicken together with the sauce, you can cook the sauce separately (bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, set aside) and barbecue the chicken after having left it to marinate. Then use the sauce as accompaniment.
It is also possible to cook the chicken with the sauce in the oven (30 minutes at 190°C/375°F).
If you decide to have a barbecue, then other meats (beef especially) can be used.
Eat this dish with Haitian "Djon Djon Rice" (see recipe) or any kind of long grain rice of your choice.
(Storm Over Birdgetown -Pic by Jonathan Wilson www.trekearth.com)
(Arawak Women -Pic by www.salvationic.org)