Jerk Chicken is a Jamaican specialty, where chicken used for cooking is marinated with a spice mixture typical to Jamaica called as Jamaican Jerk Spice. Chicken pieces dry rubbed with the hot jerk spice is later cooked till brown and is served alongside boiled vegetables on a plate as a main course. Jerk Chicken is sometimes referred in the world cuisine as Caribbean Jerk Chicken.
Main Ingredient Used in Jerk Chicken Recipes
Jamaican Jerk spice or simply Jerk Spice is the main ingredient in Jerk Chicken recipes. Traditional Jerk spice is prepared to be very hot, which is normally a combination of allspice, one of the hottest varieties of peppers, certain other spices, herbs, garlic etc to make it more flavorful. This spice mixture alone forms the marinade for Jerk Chicken which is often dry rubbed on the pieces. Jerk spice can either be made fresh or are available ready-made under different brands in the market.
Cooking Method Adopted for Jerk Chicken
The flavor of Jerk Chicken is best revealed when smoked. A specialty worth mentioning about this cooking method is the use of wood charcoal from allspice plant, more commonly of pimiento, which gives out an aromatic smoke rendering Jerk chicken its unique flavor.
History says that the traditional cooking method, which resembles smoking or modern barbecuing, was adopted to serve the purpose of locking the protein content in the meat. In ancient times, many of the Caribbean as well as American ingenious cultures depended on Jerk meat as a means of protein storage.