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It has been a very productive week at the spice shop! We’ve been hard at work developing and implementing blends and rubs that take advantage of our delicious organic herbs and spices.
We’re proud to announce that we have added a most delectable Jamaican Jerk seasoning to our inventory! This little blend packs a big punch, and is balanced with wonderfully fresh island flavors.
The Origins of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
What is Jamaican Jerk seasoning all about? As with any regional specialty, Jerk seasoning has a history that goes far back into the culture of Jamaica.
Most sources suggest that term “jerk” in this case comes from the Spanish, “Charqui”, which loosely translates to jerky. (Side note I’m personally curious how this also relates to the term Charcuterie, which is near and dear to my heart.)
It seems the jerk technique goes back to a time when the Arawak employed a techniques of slow cooking over wood to help preserve meats. A healthy dose of spices native to the Caribbean were used to help as a preservative. This has evolved into a cooking method that implements both native and foreign spices and often uses grills converted from steal drums.
Much like American style BBQ, Jerk chicken is a term synonymous with street food that many consider to be the heart soul of cooking around the world.
Herbs and Spices that Go into the Jamaican Jerk Rub
What’s in the seasoning blend? One of the key ingredients is allspice, which is known in Jamaica as “pimento”. Fresh allspice berries look remarkably like grapes or currants (see whole dried allspice to give an idea). In our Jamaican Jerk spice, we used our organic herbs and spices to create this classic, and includes:
- brown sugar
- sea salt
- onion powder
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- bird’s eye chili
- clove (fresh from whole cloves)
- nutmeg (fresh ground from whole nutmegs)
As a cook who has made this blend at home many times, I can attest to the fact that this is made 1,000 times better through the use of high quality organic ingredients. When you use old (sitting in factories for months, sometimes years), dried-out and pesticide-ridden spices, you just don’t get the brightness or flavor like you do when you use fresh, organic spice.
A Tasty “Sit Overnight” Jerk Chicken Recipe to Get You Started
How about a quick recipe? With spices already blended this is a pretty simple technique to master.
Jerk chicken, or another protein, can be cooked either on the grill or in an oven. All you need is:
- chicken (or a veggie protein if you’re vegetarian)
- Pinch’s jerk seasoning
- a little bit of vinegar
- a little olive oil
- a few splashes of lime juice
- a few splashes of orange juice
- touch of soy sauce.
Take your chicken and sprinkle a generous amount of the spice mixture over it. Rub the spice and chicken to insure that the chicken is evenly coated.
Now add the liquid ingredients to coat. You want this to be a paste consistency rather then a marinade.
Let the rubbed chicken sit overnight.
Now the fun part, low and slow cooking. On the grill you will want to use an indirect cooking method to get the chicken to proper temperature and then a quick sear over direct heat. In the oven you will want to cook at 275-300 degrees and then finish off under a broiler to char the chicken.
You can serve with this with rice and beans or a nice salad. Some people enjoy topping this with a spicy jerk sauce, while others just enjoy it as is. You may find it goes well with a smokey sweet BBQ sauce.
There you have it– delicious, fiery, Jamaican Jerk chicken!