What does Jamaican Jerk Chicken Taste like

The Jamaican Jerk Chicken possesses a distinct taste profile characterised by spices indigenous to Jamaica island. It’s spiced with spicy, Scotch bonnet chilies (or much easier to locate habanero chilies) as well as fragrant, complicated, sweet but smokey notes from allspice, garlic, ginger, thyme, nutmeg and cinnamon.


We have all heard the name “jerk chicken” and also ideally had the opportunity to sink the teeth of ours to the tender, delicious, spicy charred meat. But precisely what can it be?

Jerk Chicken is a spicy, smoky grilled chicken, often whole chicken, or maybe bone in chicken, popular from Jamaica but additionally typical in the Cayman Islands and throughout the Caribbean. It’s juicy, tender, savory, smoky and somewhat sweet with fiery heat with distinct seasoning from the hot peppers, sweet allspice berries, ginger and thyme.

Jerk describes a type of cooking where the primary ingredient (anything from chicken to beef to sea food to vegetables) is often coated in jerk seasonings or perhaps marinated with jerk seasonings.

The greater conventional technique is marinating the chicken as long as they can, to allow the flavors truly penetrate to produce very moist chicken, now prepare the chicken with the fragrant wood of the pimenta dioica, Jamaica’s allspice tree.

The thing that makes JERK CHICKEN JERK?

Real Jerk Chicken isn’t just smoky, spicy chicken coated in distinct seasonings, what sets it apart is the wood it’s cooked over. Real Jamaican Jerk Chicken is cooked over new pimento wood from the pimento tree (pimenta diocia), a tree native to the Caribbean, imbuing it with smoky undertones and improving the heat.

You might not believe you’re acquainted with the pimento tree, though you’ve read of the fruit of its – the allspice berry! As generally misunderstood, allspice originates from ground up allspice berries which look like peppercorns, and not many berries.

The individuals of the Caribbean named all of them spice since they thought they tasted as a blend of cinnamon, pepper, cloves and nutmeg.

How’s JERK CHICKEN Traditionally COOKED?

In Jamaica, charcoals are laid in a pit under big metal grates that are then topped with pimento wood. The entire jerk seasoned chicken is put on top of the pimento wood, then simply covered with huge sheets of metal.

The chicken assimilates the scented oils and smoke from the pimento wood as it cooks gradually for hours, imbuing it with smoky, spicy, sweet, and floral taste.

Many Jerk Chicken in Jamaica is not prepared in pits, but grilled over pimento wood charcoals in a steel drum known as a “jerk pan.” It may be tough to discover pimento wood in the US, therefore frequently other fruit woods, that are similarly moderate but pungent, are utilized. Feel free to experiment with fruit wood chips, like apple, peach, cherry and much more to determine the things that work right for you.

For day cooks without having a charcoal grill, nonetheless, the allspice in the recipe can serve as a good replacement for natural pimento wood. It is then easy to additionally cook the chicken in a cast iron skillet too.

Where’s JERK CHICKEN From?

The beginnings of Jerk Chicken are twofold. The indigenous folks of the Caribbean, the Taíno individuals, are credited with producing the jerk technique of food preparation – utilizing the aromatic pimento wood from neighborhood island trees to prepare and smoke the food of theirs, imparting that genuine allspice flavor.

In reality, the title jerk, is the Spanish edition of an Andean dialect word for dehydrated meat, ch’arki, meaning dried out strips of meat much like the modern day jerky.

The way of preparing Jerk Chicken in smoking pits as well as the distinct seasonings of indigenous Scotch bonnet peppers, sweet allspice berries, ginger and thyme, nonetheless, is credited to escaped African slaves of the 1600s, today called Maroons. Organizations of African slaves were definitely brought to Jamaica by the English along with Spanish to work the high sugar plantations. If they escaped, they mingled with the Taínos, who taught them the jerk method of food preparation.

The Maroons had taken the jerk food preparation method 1 step more by digging pits to prepare the wild caught boar in. They will seal the pits with charcoal, add the beef, then bury them to be able to conceal the smoke from anybody who’d take them back to slavery.

Nowadays, types of jerk are available all around the planet, but is most widely used just where Caribbean descent exists, like the Caribbean, Cayman Islands, United States, England, and the French Caribbean. And you now are able to carry it into your own kitchen!


Jerk Chicken is generally made by using an entire chicken or maybe dark cuts of meat like the thighs and legs quarters thighs, wings and. They’re dark cuts of meat and that means they’re richer tasting, inherently juicier as well as the bone helps them to stay additional tender.

Above all in this particular healthy recipe, the richer taste is crucial to stand up against the bold marinade. I recommend bone in chicken thighs and drumsticks for this particular recipe since they prepare in exactly the same amount, though you might use any cut of chicken you want.


Indeed, technically you are able to generate Jamaican Jerk Chicken using chicken breasts, but there’s cause Jerk Chicken is created with dark meat. It is much more flavorful, tender and also may be marinated for longer, leading to an excellent outcome.

Additionally you will not accomplish that signature charred crust and blackened crispy bits using chicken breasts. The gentler chicken breast meat also does not match the powerful marinade also.

Should you decide to utilize chicken breasts, be careful to smack the breasts to an even thickness before marinating. Only marinade chicken breasts for as much as twelve hours as the meat is much more apt to digest and also become soft if over marinated.

Furthermore , note, you do not wish to overcook chicken breasts or maybe they will not be as juicy. Chicken breasts should be prepared to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, ten degrees under the perfect 175 degrees F for darker cuts of beef.


Jerk chicken employs a rich seasoning and complicated cooking method which relies wholly on smoke.

It might take more time compared to many chicken dishes, however the resulting taste is well worth the effort and time.

Everything out of the peppers and bay leaves on the allspice and pimento branches plays a role in the intricacy of the taste profile of its.

Thus, in case you are in a cooking rut and also you need a brand new chicken recipe, buy some Jamaican spices and make this mouth-watering and flavorful dish.