Jerk foods are prepared in a traditional Jamaican style of cooking, taking bold flavors from Allspice and Scotch Bonnet Peppers. The flavors and spices of authentic Jamaican Jerk are easily created in this dish and lend themselves to be paired not only with chicken, but pork and fish as well. This recipe takes its heat from the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, but you can substitute more readily-available Habanero Peppers if the authentic ingredients are a little harder to come by.
Jerk chicken can be dry rubbed or marinated in a wet rub, such as this recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Herbs & Sausage. The sweetness of the potatoes with the complexity of the herbs is a perfect pairing for this spicy chicken. Fire up this recipe to take your grill on a journey to the Caribbean!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Herbs and Sausage
Ingredients (Jerk Marinade):
- 2 medium shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 medium Scotch Bonnet peppers (seeds & stem removed)
- ½ cup brown sugar
4 chicken leg quarters
1. Combine all jerk marinade ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Remove 1 cup and set aside.
2. Trim excess fat off leg quarters and place in plastic bag with jerk marinade (aside from the 1 cup that was set aside). Place in refrigerator or cooler for 3-4 hours.
3. Prepare grill to a medium-high heat of about 375°F.
4. Remove chicken from bags (discard liquid). Grill chicken over direct heat for approximately 15 minutes, then turn chicken over and grill an additional 15 minutes or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. Utilize remaining 1 cup of Jerk Marinade to baste the chicken 2-3 times while grilling.
Ingredients (Sweet Potatoes w/ Herbs & Sausage)
- 1 large Sweet Potato, diced
- 1 lb. Sweet Italian Pork Sausage
- 3 leaves Fresh Basil
- 2 sprigs Fresh Oregano
- 1 tsp. Dried Sage
- ½ cup water
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In cast iron skillet, cook sausage over grill or stove for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients to skillet and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.