Get ready to rock the grill with this Caribbean jerk chicken recipe that is so easy and so delicious. Enjoy a little taste of the islands with this flavorful marinade that makes for juicy grilled chicken. Fantastic flavor makes this a chicken dish like no other! Spice up plain boring chicken for an amazing backyard barbecue dinner this week.
Grilled Caribbean Jerk Chicken
Get the recipe below.
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Spice up regular boring chicken with this amazing recipe.
Traditional jerk chicken is a Jamaican dish that uses many wonderful spices for a favorite barbecue dish. An island-spiced marinade and bold flavor combine for juicy, tender chicken.
This wonderfully fragrant chicken is just the perfect amount of spice if you’re new to the spicy jerk chicken flavor. The habanero pepper is what brings the spice, so use less if you’re worried.
Bring this phenomenal taste of the islands to your backyard. Now you don’t have to travel to the Caribbean this summer to enjoy delicious food….
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What Does Jamaican Jerk Chicken Taste Like?
The secret to jerk chicken is in the marinade. It is an amazing blend of spices that create a Caribbean flavor. The flavors come from thyme, habanero peppers, and allspice.
It’s similar to any barbecue chicken, but Jamaican style, usually with a bit of heat from the peppers and a delicious smokey grill flavor.
Is Jerk Chicken Healthy?
The good news is that jerk chicken is as good for your health and diet as it is to your taste buds. Much of the flavor of jerk chicken comes from the spices and the smoked grilling flavor, which doesn’t add calories to the chicken. This recipe has 6 servings at just 216 calories per serving (see nutritional facts below).
Chicken is a healthy food to regularly include in your diet. It is good for you because it is high in protein and many vitamins and minerals important for good health. It is rich in phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and B12, as well as other B vitamins, iron, magnesium, omega 3s, and more.
Chicken is a lean meat, which means it is lower in fat compared to other meats. Eating more chicken than other meats is a great way to improve your health, decrease your intake of unhealthy fats, and create a healthy eating plan that contributes to weight loss when eating appropriate portion sizes.
Also, be sure to marinate your meat for the recommended time and then cook for as short of time as possible, so you don’t have any charred edges. Use a thermometer to ensure you are cooking it to the correct temperature (at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for chicken).
Is Jerk Chicken Supposed to Taste Dry?
No, jerk chicken isn’t supposed to be dry. It is a juicy, highly-flavorful and tender chicken dish when cooked correctly. If your jerk chicken is dry it means it has been overcooked. Follow grilling directions and use a meat thermometer to be sure not to over-cook the chicken.
The marinade also helps to make sure you don’t have dry chicken. The flavors absorb into the chicken making it very moist by the time it is grilled and ready to eat. If you are worried about having dry chicken, you can also try using chicken wings or chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts (but these cuts are more fatty).
How Spicy Is Jamaican Jerk Chicken?
Traditional jerk chicken is a lot more spicy or hot than many of us can handle, fortunately there are many versions that are toned down. If you buy jerk seasonings or marinade, be sure to check on the bottle for the level of heat. With a homemade jerk marinade, you can control the level of spice. If your tolerance for heat isn’t very high, use just a small amount of the habanero pepper.
Now get the recipe below. Enjoy!
- 1 yellow onion, chopped into quarters
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 Habanero chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, or drumsticks)
- To make the marinade, combine all ingredients except for the chicken in a food processor or blender. Blend until everything is mostly smooth (it will resemble a coarse and gritty paste).
- Place chicken pieces in a gallon-sized resealable bag and pour the marinade of top of chicken. Seal the bag tightly and then use hands to push the marinade around so that each piece of chicken is completely covered.
- Let chicken marinade for 6-8 hours in the fridge.
- Remove chicken from fridge and preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place chicken on grill and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees), turning chicken every two minutes.
Nutrition facts for Caribbean Jerk Chicken:
What to Serve with Caribbean Jerk Chicken
Some great side dishes for this jerk chicken would be coleslaw, green beans, corn on the cob, beans, or fruit. Try some of our favorite recipes to go with it:
Caribbean Jerk Grilled Vegetables (recipe coming soon!)
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