Traveling Through Your Taste Buds: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Traveling Through Your Taste Buds is back, and this time we’re going to be talking about Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

I loooooove Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Love it. I love it so much, in fact, that the lady who works the Jamaican food booth at the Oceanside street fair knows my face. We’ve got ourselves a rapport at this point, she and I. If you can’t get to San Diego County on a Thursday night, however, fear not…because there’s more than one way to get your hands on some tasty jerk chicken!

Before I link you to some recipes, however, let’s talk about this tasty dish for a while. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. The dish originated in Jamaica, although it is said that the true origins of this dish are from West Africa. Having had West African cuisine before, I can see the similarities. Although the origins are African, the dish was adapted by the West African slaves who were brought to Jamaica and had to adapt their cuisine to locally available ingredients. Over time, they modified and perfected the flavors so that we have the dish we know and love today (source).

Although the dish does have it’s origins in an ugly time in history, it’s also a beautiful testament to the perseverance of a people and their refusal to give up their unique culture. They created something wonderful as a result.

Jerk refers to the seasoning or sauce, and jerking is a technique in which they poke holes in the meat in order to allow the flavors to absorb more easily. The technique they use when making jerk chicken is to use a pit fire barbecue and I would say is one of the world’s great barbecue traditions. It’s spicy and full of flavor. I love it.

When you eat this dish, you transport yourself to those beautiful Jamaican Caribbean shores. Imagine yourself relaxing on a beautiful beach, swimming in those warm waters, or exploring their beautiful jungles.

If you want to try this dish for yourself, you can always look up your nearest Jamaican restaurant. If there isn’t one nearby, not to worry…you can make this dish at home!

Here are some recipes to make Jamaican jerk chicken yourself…

Have you tried Jerk Chicken? What did you think?


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