After we initially released our Jah Love Jamaican Jerk seasoning in the spring of 2016, I traveled to Jamaica in order to see just how close our new jerk seasoning was to the “Real McCoy”. The trip was very enlightening and I learned our jerk seasoning needed to be tweaked because it just didn’t quite measure up to authentic Jamaican jerk. So, when I returned from my trip, I went back to the spice lab and began tweaking the recipe. By September of 2016 I had cracked the code and nailed the spirit and essence of true Jamaican Jerk. This revamped recipe is now what you enjoy when you cook with our Jah Love Jamaican Jerk seasoning.
One of the key fundamentals I learned while in Jamaica was that a true Jerk seasoning was meant to be applied as a wet paste and marinated for several hours, usually overnight. It is for this reason I have developed the following recipe and highly recommend all of our customers to follow in order for them to experience all the Caribbean flavors this seasoning has to offer. Authentic Jerk takes time to prepare, and this recipe is no different. You’ll need at least 3 hours of lead-time in order to even begin to experience the depth of flavor and authentic Scotch Bonnet heat this seasoning brings, so please plan ahead and make time to do it right.
First, in a blender, combine equal parts Jah Love Jamaican Jerk seasoning and vegetable oil (I prefer Peanut or Olive oil). Blend on high for several minutes. One cup of rub and one cup of oil will make enough paste for around 6-8 medium sized pieces of chicken.
Once you have made the paste, place your chicken pieces into a large zip lock bag and pour the jerk paste over the chicken. Close the bag, making sure to squeeze all the air out. Then, massage the chicken pieces around until they are all evenly covered by the jerk marinade. If you haven’t tried boneless/skinless chicken thighs, let me be the first to HIGHLY recommend them for this recipe.
Now, place the marinating chicken into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. If you have time to let them set overnight, your patience will be rewarded.
Once your desired marination time has elapsed, remove the chicken parts from the bags. They can either be removed directly to a hot charcoal grill, or you can lay them out on a sheet pan and re-dust them with a little more Jah Love seasoning if you like them extra hot. Be sure to not remove any of the marinade paste that remains stuck to the chicken.
Now is a good time to talk about the kind of grill you’re going to use. I hate to say it, guys, but gas grills don’t really work that well. If you want true, authentic Jamaican Jerk, you’ll only use a charcoal grill loaded with lump charcoal (not briquettes), and if you can find some pimento wood chunks, by all means, use them too.
Grill the chicken hot & fast until it’s done, and don’t worry, the little burnt crispy bits are the best part…
I’ve cooked chicken a million different ways, and this is now my all-time favorite.