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Jerk chicken


By Chef Peter Webster of Bouquet Garni Catering


I have just returned from a lovely holiday in Negril Jamaica.  It was a family reunion with 23 people from my wife’s side.  I was basking in plus 30ºC weather on the beach while most Montrealers were suffering through this “Arctic Vortex”.  I count my blessings sometimes!


On the resort there was a jerk chicken shack.  The chef was named Jolly.  He prepared a wonderful jerk chicken with a rub, barbecued it to perfection over charcoal and then had some jerk sauce on the side.  Jerk sauce is usually made with scotch bonnet peppers, which adds some fire to the mouth.  By having the sauce on the side, we North Americans can regulate the heat we can tolerate on the tongue.


I believe I had the chicken five out of the seven days I was there.  It was wonderful.  I did not ask him for his recipe but have provided a similar jerk sauce recipe below.



3 onions, peeled and quartered

6 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 – 6 hot peppers (scotch bonnet or jalapenos)

2 tbsp thyme

2 tbsp ground allspice

2 tbsp brown sugar or molasses

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp nutmeg

1 tbsp ground ginger

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2  cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dark rum (optional)

1 cup orange juice

3/4 cup white vinegar

juice of 1 lime


Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Brush chicken with the marinade and let sit overnight in the fridge.


Bake in the oven at 350º for 30 minutes, turn the pieces, brush with marinade and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.  Conversely, you may prepare the Jerk Chicken on the BBQ.


Ya mon!


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