Jamaican Jerk Chicken is the most popular Jamaican dish from the beautiful Caribbean island, and for good reason too! It’s hard to find a chicken recipe that yields a more flavorful, succulent or moist piece of meat.
If you’re looking for another chicken dish that is comparable, you must try Coq a Vin recipe. This recipe can certainly compete on all levels.
What is Jamaican Jerk Chicken?
This Jamaica Jerk Chicken recipe to the core is aromatic and smoky, hot and sweet and all things good. All of the ingredients in the conventional Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe are on the lush green island of Jamaica. Thankfully all of the ingredients are readily available here in the States too. Which means that there is no problem replicating the authentic flavor profile.
How is Jamaican Jerk Chicken traditionally made?
However, there is a slight problem trying to replicate the authentic procedure though. A REAL Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe cooks over coals and fresh green wood. This wood is most traditionally from the pimento tree, which is native to the Caribbean. The Pimento tree is a key jerk chicken ingredient—allspice berries, which are used in the marinade.
I do not have access to fresh green wood and I don’t have all day to spend cooking my Jerk chicken, so my version is not the completely authentic version. But, it is a simplified one and the end result is still pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Mango Salsa
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe partners perfectly with a sweet and chunky fruit salsa. The one I am using has is a delicious mango salsa with cilantro, lime, avocado and jalapeno. In just a few quick minutes your Jerk Chicken Salsa will be ready to serve.
How to Make the Cleanest Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
Once you do away with the sugar and vegetable oil in the marinade in traditional Jerk Chicken recipes, the remaining of ingredients are all healthy, clean and good. However, if you are following a clean eating diet look for chicken that is pasture-raised. This is not the same as “free range” and it is much more important than choosing “organic.”
Also, to keep pro-inflammatory saturated fat down to a minimum, I like to use skinless chicken thighs. Even still, I will trim off all visible fat. I find the chicken thighs to have considerably more flavor and maintain a much higher moisture content as compared to chicken breasts.
And finally, don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients! I know they may seem extensive, but the ingredients are for both the chicken and the marinade. It really just requires a little chopping, a whirl in the food processor and a little grilling. And trust me, the end result is SO well worth it!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe with Mango Salsa that maintains the flavor, moistness and succulent qualities of the authentic island version.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 habanero chiles, seeded
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
- 3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons , melted
- 1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s
- 1 tablespoon raw honey,
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
- 2 1/4 pounds pasture-raised boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of all visible fat
JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN SALSA
- 2 mangoes, diced
- 1 firm avocado, diced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- To make the marinade, combine the red onion, garlic, habanero chiles, scallions, thyme, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of the lime juice, soy sauce, oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and sea salt in a food processor. Process to form a smooth paste.
- Transfer to a large shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight for best results.
- Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Grill, turning and basting occasionally with the marinade for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- To make the salsa, combine the mangoes, avocado, shallots, jalapeno, cilantro and remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a medium-sized bowl. Gently toss all ingredients. Season with a little salt and serve with the chicken.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY DINNER RECIPES?
If you liked the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe, be sure to check out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital