It’s not every day you get to call your food mean names. So, if you are feeling any unexplained rage and need to take it out on someone other than your loved ones, go ahead and make this JERK chicken. Call it a jerk while you make it. A big fat jerk.
I promise you will feel better and your kids will thank you. And you spouse and your dog and your fish.
Now really, what the heck is Jamaican Jerk chicken?
I have no idea why it’s called this, but Jerk chicken is a style of spice rub that comes from the Caribbean. It typically features allspice. Which, I have to tell you, isn’t a combination of all the spices, like I once thought, but it’s very own stuff. It comes from the allspice bush. Just kidding, I made that up. It was really named allspice because it tastes like a combination of spices. (Sometimes don’t you think that the fancy Europeans were so clever when they reached the Americas? “Here, let us name your foods and give you some small pox. You’re welcome.”)
This jerk seasoning is earthy and pairs so well with the sweetness of mango salsa.
This is one of my favorite grilling recipes. It is summery and a little spicy and just plain fun. And it happens to be a dish that I have been making for a long time. I found it in a magazine when I was first married and we have enjoyed it for many years.
It is best to crush the thyme leaves with a mortar and pestle if you have one available or just whir it up in the blender. I didn’t this time and the thyme leaves were a little on the pokey side.
And you can adjust the cayenne pepper to your tastes. It is fairly spicy with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and I usually just put a pinch in there so the children’s heads don’t explode. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?
Traditionally jerk seasoning is made with scotch bonnet peppers, but the cayenne works just fine for me.
Enjoy some inappropriate displays of anger toward your food. And enjoy a delicious summer meal.