Features

You’ve Gotta Eat This: Jerk Chicken, Jamaica

This should definitely be Australia's next food craze.

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(Photo: Glennia/Flickr)

What is it? Both smoky and moist, this Jamaican chicken is probably the most well-known native dish to have left the island. Imagine tender and sweet bits of chicken smoked over coals (and green wood) and left blackened and crispy thanks to a searing hot grill. What you get is a tender meat that so rich in flavour, it will melt your socks off.

Where can you get it? Though you can now find jerk chicken outside of Jamaica, you’ve gotta try the original and authentic chicken from the island.

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(Photo: Terrence Chang/Flickr)

What’s in it? Long before the chicken even hits the grill it’s gotta be marinated to give it that sweet and spicy flavour. There are, of course, hundreds of different recipes for the marinade, but the majority will involve a mixture of scallions, fresh ginger, thyme, scotch bonnet peppers and allspice berries. The peppers are extremely spicy (about 40 times hotter than jalapeños) and mixed with the allspice berries (which are the fruit of the pemento tree that are dried and resemble peppercorns) give that beautifully rich flavour to the chicken.

Is it good for you? You’ll be so full and happy after a plate of authentic jerk chicken, you probably won’t ever want to eat again, so that’s good I guess?

How much does it cost? For a basic foil wrapped jerk chicken dish it’s around 250-400 JMD ($3 – $5 AUD) so pretty damn cheap.

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(Photo: Glennia/Flickr)