Jamaican Jerk marinade is great on Chicken, Pork and Veggies, even Seafood, Shellfish, Goat and Tofu are Jerked! It is traditionally always a grilled dish, although modern cooks are now using their broiler or oven for convience. I have even seen a few recipes on the web for "slow cooker" Jerk!
Jerk is a classic dish of Jamaica, though it is popular throughout the Caribbean. The original dish probably originated from slaves who were brought from West Africa. Jerk Spice, much like the term Curry, is simply a mixture of spices and herbs, primarily Allspice and Scotch Bonnet Peppers (Habaneros).
The term Jerk or Jerked, refers the the cooking technique of marinating meat, then slow roasting (BBQ) them outside. Jerk is spicy! That is the point, but the flavors are not just heat, they are zesty and fresh with a hint of sweetness. The dish is fun! Reminding me that I am lucky enough to live in the Tropics with year round Grilling weather and a cold beer any time of day is just fine! Since we are talking about drink pairings with Jerk, Tall Rum drinks, of course is a great choice, and I enjoyed a nicely chilled Chardonnay with my Jerk Chicken.
Jerk spice can come in the form of a dry rub or a wet marinade. Between the combination of the spices and the lime juice and/or vinegar, it was originally used to preserve meat from spoilage on long voyages or times before refrigeration, much like smoked Salmon for Eskimos, Vindaloo in India or Beef JERKY (see the similarity?) for the North American Indians.
Grilled Jerk Chicken with Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw
Our Jamaican Jerk Marinade has lots of herbs added to the classic Jerk spices a little sugar, no soy. Even though Jerk is supposed to be spicy, ours is not as spicy as traditional jerks, and the cooking definitely tones down the heat. You could always blend in more peppers for more heat. Cold beer near by when eating Jerk is always highly recommended!
It comes in a 10 ounce jar, enough to marinade 2 to 3 pounds of meat or vegetables (squash, yucca and onions are my favorite vegetables for Jerking) with a quarter cup reserved for the finishing sauce. The recipe below is using chicken. Just switch out another meat or vegetable of your choice, it all works pretty much the same.
2 to 3 pounds of Chicken parts
1 jar of Jamaican Jerk Marinade, reserving 1/4 cup for the finishing sauce
2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Oil, your choice
Make the Finishing Sauce first:
Put the reserved 1/4 cup marinade in a small bowl and whisk in Vinegar and Oil and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate sauce.
Remove meat from marinade and place on a plate to dry out a little. Grill, Broil or Bake to your liking.
Spoon reserved sauce over grilled meat. I served it with Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw. Some fried yellow plantains would be a great addition as well, recipes below.
Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw
This is a quick throw together salad with Tropical Flavors. I am not using exact measurements and you can add all kinds of other things into it like differents nuts, sesame seeds, other dried fruits or vegetables.
Toss together well in a big bowl:
-Finely shredded green cabbage
-Some thinly sliced onion, red or white
-Minced red Bell Pepper
-Minced jalapeños, of course this is optional
Mix together equal parts Helman's Mayonaise or Yogurt with Our Banana Ketchup.
Dress the vegetables above to your liking. Season with Salt And Pepper.
Fried Sweet Plantains:
Heat some frying oil, or better yet Lard, in a heavy duty fry pan to 350 degrees.
Peel a few Yellow to Black colored (Maduro) Plantains, then slices them lengthways into 1/4 inch slices.
Place slices in hot oil and fry each side till golden brown. Careful not to burn!