I love a good marinade. The right combination of flavours can transform an already great piece of meat, or indeed veg, into something really special. My Chicken Doner Kebab recipe is a good example of how much we all seem to like pepping up our poultry. The most popular recipe on my blog, it’s had over 8,000 views since it was published!
And so with marinating in mind, I wanted to spice things up a little with a jerk recipe.
Extracted from Wikipedia ‘Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, vegetables, and tofu. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers’
I use plenty of lime juice and a hit of fresh thyme to give my wet marinade a zesty kick. I personally like a good amount of heat, but for the sake of my kids I use regular large red chillies, as opposed to Scotch bonnets, to keep the heat to a warm hum rather than a fiery punch. You can switch this up to suit your own taste.
Makes more than enough for 6-8 large chicken breasts. Any leftover marinade can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Bunch of spring onions, roughly chopped
A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
2 large red chillies (or Scotch bonnets) deseeded and roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 big pinches of salt
Pop all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a loose paste. And that’s it!
I used chicken on this occasion, but as mentioned above you can slap this on whatever you like. Marinade your meat overnight for best results, or for at least an hour or two. I chuck everything into a zip lock bag for easy clean up.
I grilled the chicken breasts on the BBQ, but you could use an indoor grill or oven. Serve with traditional rice and peas, a fresh green salad, or stuffed into a wrap with some cooling garlic and herb yoghurt. The options are endless.