“Jerk” refers to a cooking method that originated with the Taino people, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean who are now extinct due to diseases brought to them by European colonists. The Taino taught African slaves on the island of Jamaica how to season, smoke, and roast chicken. The seasonings used in the jerk method are all native to the island of Jamaica, and the mix is now known as Jerk Seasoning.
Did you know jerk cooking isn’t limited to poultry? While this seasoning blend was originally intended for chicken and pork, you can use it with any protein! Fish, beef, and even tofu and vegetables are great options for this sweet and spicy Caribbean twist. But in our house, we just love rotisserie chicken. We eat it often! This easy jerk chicken recipe is a great way to spice things up and offer something a little different. You can double mix our mixed dry seasoning, store in an airtight container, and use at your leisure for up to a year to add flavor to any meat or vegetable.
This is not authentic Jamaican roast chicken as it is not smoked or grilled but oven baked. The ingredients used by the full-time chef are readily available to most people in the US and Canada, so our viewers can easily sample world cuisine even if they have limited travel or access to local ingredients. For a wet Jamaican jerk sauce, check out Jamaican Food Bloggers jessica in the kitchen cookbook. For a more traditional baked version, try Immaculate Bite’s Delicious Recipes.
Spice Level Adjustment:
This is a traditional spicy dish. Scotch bonnet peppers, or habanero peppers, give it a real kick! Luckily, this simple jerk chicken recipe is also easy to make as much or less spicy as you like. 1 peppercorn keeps it mild – be sure to remove the seeds! They have all the spice.
Use 3 chilies for full heat. Of course, you can always add more. But try starting with 3 – it might be spicier than you think!
Best Cuts for Roast Chicken:
We use a mix of thighs and legs. They are a bit fatty, which makes them juicier and more flavorful. But chicken breasts would work too! Keep in mind that cooking times vary by cut, so it’s especially important to be mindful of internal temperatures when using a variety of cuts. Digital Meat Thermometer will help you keep track!
Is jerk chicken supposed to be sweet?
It’s a little sweet, but not overly so. The sweetness comes from a combination of brown sugar in the dry seasoning and orange juice in the marinade. However, we only used a few tablespoons of brown sugar and half a cup of orange juice. So of course it shouldn’t be too sweet!
If you are concerned about sweetness, you can reduce the amount of sugar by a tablespoon. You can also use fresh-squeezed orange juice, which tends to be less sweet than the concentrate you buy at the store.
Can I make this recipe on the grill or in the air fryer?
You can definitely do it! Not only is it easy to make, but it’s actually faster than baking. However, it’s slightly more manipulative, so be aware of recipe changes.
For the grill, set it to high heat. For an air fryer, preheat to 400 degrees. Using either method, cook for 12-18 minutes, until a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Flip halfway through the cooking time to ensure the meat is evenly browned on all sides.
This easy jerk chicken recipe is great in so many ways!