Jerk originates from the Caribbean islands. It usually comes in the form of a sauce made from spring onions, pimento (allspice), scotch bonnet chillies, thyme, sugar and vinegar. It is generally quite a fiery sauce and is a staple part of any Caribbean diet.
Eat.Art have created an authentic jerk spice that when used correctly will be as delicious as any sauce from the islands. The traditional way of cooking with jerk is in a drum BBQ with a lid and lots of heat, so a kettle braai will be perfect. However, I simple cooked the meat over an open flame and the result was amazing.
- 8 pieces of chicken drums and thighs, these are great as they don’t dry out too quickly
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- rind of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs Eat.Art Caribbean Jerk seasoning
- 10g basil, coarsely sliced
- 2tbs of your favourite BBQ sauce
- 1tbs Eat.Art Himalayan pink salt
- Score your chicken lightly with a sharp knife, this will allow the marinade to really penetrate the flesh.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients in a metal mixing bowl, you should have a chunky marinade. If it is a bit thick, add a couple tablespoons of warm water.
- Add the chicken to the marinade, don’t be shy, you really need to massage the flavour into the meat. Cover and leave to marinade for at least an hour, overnight will really work though.
- Light your fire and pile the coals into the centre of the braai. Cook your chicken over the hot coals until it is sealed and the skin starts to crisp.
- Once the chicken is looking nice and golden move the pieces over to the sides of the braai, this will ensure they cook evenly without burning.
- Cook for about 40 minutes, basting each piece every 5 minutes or so.
- Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.
Serve the chicken with your favourite salad, I would make a creamy baby potato salad with loads of fresh chives and red onion. I would also suggest a light coloured lager beer or a amber ale, obviously served ice cold.
Having been the kitchen manager of a Caribbean restaurant where we would make jerk sauce fresh every day, I can say that the Eat.Art Caribbean Jerk is a very authentic and well balanced version. All the flavours combine perfectly and none of the different spice elements overpower each other. It would work brilliantly as an enhancer in soups and rice dishes as well.
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