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Just Lovin’ the Jerk!

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Well, it was unavoidable. The temperature in the D.C. area has begun to drastically decrease. Luckily, this year I had the opportunity to spend an extra week in the summer-like climate of the Bahamas. There’s nothing like relaxing being kissed by the island sun and ocean breeze. In my cruise experience earlier this month, I was dazzled by some local cuisine in a little whole in the wall restaurant. In true tourist form, I decided to try some Jerked Chicken and Saffron Rice. Hands down it was the best meal of my vacation and inspired me to try my hand at the Caribbean staple.

The jerk seasoning was surprisingly easy to make. Again, this is another example of me creating some daunting task in my mind of how difficult a recipe is going to be. The food processor was key to this delicious seasoning. Toss all the ingredients in and let it work is magic after a few good pulses! A little bit of planning is required to maximize the flavors of this dish. I decided to let my chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours before baking. The minimum time the recipe called for was three hours. Trust me, for taste sake, the more time in the marinade the better.

Another important aspect of creating this dish was broiling that chicken for the last couple of minutes. Unfortunately, I do not have a grill at this time so getting that charred and crispy skin on my chicken takes a little more effort. Within the last five minutes of baking, I turned the broiler on high and kept a watchful eye on my poultry. The end result was perfectly crisp chicken with the delicious aroma and taste of the Carribean. One bite took me straight back to the island of Nassau living my best summer life in November!

 Jerked Chicken 

What You Need:

  • 10 bone-in skin-on chicken pieces, thighs or legs (about 3 lbs), trim excess fat and skin
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3 habanero peppers, stem removed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice (I used Jamaican Allspice) 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

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