Jerk chicken

I’ve had lots of fun growing my own chillies, but didn’t have any suitable recipes to use them. All my spicy recipes use lomboks or rawits, the “standard” chillies of Asia and India. The chillies I’d grown were from a plant that I got as a present, and they looked like madame Jeannette/Adjuma chillies (which corresponds with how I got the plant). But these taste completely different than the “standard” chillies, and this flavour doesn’t work at all in Asian dishes. Luckily I found this recipe, in which the use of this chilli is slightly more authentic, and in which it’s fruity flavour will come out perfectly. You can use other chillies (scotch bonnet is authentic, habanero would work well) for this recipe, but they need to be very, very hot to compensate the sweetness and spices from the other ingredients of the marinade.
Jerk is a traditional Jamaican spice mixture that is used for dry rubs and marinades, and a method of cooking. Both the spice mix and the cooking method in this recipe are not like the traditional recipes, but the result is very delicious. I’ve never had real jerk chicken, so I don’t know how it tastes in comparison. I’ve served the chicken with plain white rice to mop up the sauce and cool the palate, and a refreshing cucumber salad. You really do need something refreshing and cooling because of the spiciness, so a pineapple salsa or something like that would also be nice.

Jerk chicken
From Yvette van Boven – Volkskrant magazine

3 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp brown rum
2 chillies, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp ginger
2 tl brown sugar
1 chicken, cut in pieces (or use chicken thighs, or hake/lamb/pork)

Put all in the ingredients except the chicken in a kitchen machine or blender, and purée. Put in a (food safe) plastic bag together with the chicken. Close the bag, mix everything well and put in the fridge overnight. Preheat the oven to 180C. Take the chicken from the marinade and place on a baking sheet. Roast 50 minutes, turning the chicken pieces every now and again. Pour the marinade in a small pan, cook down slightly, add some ketchup and soy sauce, and serve with the chicken.

Note: if possible, cook on the bbq.

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