I must confess the very first day I heard the two words Jerk Chicken, I couldn’t stop giggling. It was so funny at the time and I promised to try it out the next time I see on a restaurant’s Menu. When I finally tried Jerk Chicken, I did not expect the intense flavour that hit me on the first bite. Phew, and I thought Nigerian food was spicy. Geez, Jerk Chicken is our peppered chicken 2.0. It is a Jamaican delicacy which is way more intense than our Peppered Chicken, more like Chicken suya, even more intense than that too. Even if you like your food really spicy, Jerk chicken will still blow your head off. I have eaten it subsequently, and the flavour never fails to hit me on the first bite.
I have seen many recipes on Jerk chicken but never tried it out before, because the sauce just looked complicated and I didn’t want to mar the experience I have had with eating Jerk chicken at restaurants. All that changed when I watched an episode of Cooking for Real with Sunny Anderson where she made Jerk Chicken. She made it look so simple, I made a mental note to try out Jerk chicken at home. This was months ago, and I had totally forgotten about until 2 weekends ago when I came across a bottled jar of Jerk Chicken seasoning at the African Store. I picked up the bottle and said to myself, this is my answer to finally making Jerk Chicken. Cop out I know, but what the heck, it comes in a jar, I might as well.
The next conundrum was the chicken. I don’t buy supermarket chicken because of the way they are raised, and mostly because it is tasteless (no offence to supermarket chains). I usually buy what we call ‘hard chicken’, also called Provera Chicken I think from halal butchers. This chicken is truly ‘hard’. It boils like forever, and sometimes you will need to boil it in a pressure pot. Watching Sunny Anderson cook Jerk Chicken, I knew supermarket chain chicken will not work, I also knew my hard chicken which takes forever to cook will not work as it will not be soft enough. Then I remembered my slow cooker. My Aunty Bukky gave me hers, which had been lounging in her store and she hardly used. As I have never cooked Jerk chicken before, let alone in a slow cooker, I went to google to find out if it had been done before. Thankfully yes. The delights of slow cooking cannot be over emphasised. This was just brilliant. This is so easy, no ‘cooking’ was done on my part.
For Thanksgiving this year, rather than make peppered chicken, or roast a traditional turkey in the oven, try Jerk Chicken 9ja style. You can do this too in the oven on low heat.
You will need
1 piece of Ata rodo
Bottled Jerk Chicken Seasoning
Knorr Chicken Cubes
1. Blend the ata rodo with the onions and ginger using a little water. Dooney’s Kitchen TIp: you need a little water, because chicken naturally contains water, and you will need the stock to baste the chicken.
2. Add the chicken to the slow cooker, or oven tray
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, what you just blended, and tablespoons of the Jerk chicken seasoning.
like I said above, Jerk chicken seasoning is explosive, so use it to your tolerance. I used about 3 tablespoons and on hindsight, I think that was too much.
4. Cover the slower cooker, and set the timer to low. The jerk chicken should cook in about 6 hours using hard chicken.
I did the steps above, shortly before I went to bed, and woke up to the place smelling amazing and gorgeous really soft Jerk Chicken.
To crisp up the skin a bit, I laid out the chicken pieces on foil, set it on an oven tray and set it to grill for 5 minutes
see how soft the chicken is, it is totally falling off the bone. This has never happened to me with ‘hard chicken’ before. Yaaaaay.
This is perfect for Thanksgiving as you can just throw the chicken in the oven, and go about your other duties. Pair with a cool salsa to temper down the heat a bit. Recipe for Basil Tomato Salsa HERE
First Birthday Post, Yaaaaaaaaaay. Hopefully I’ll make it a tradition to post something new on each Birthday. Thanks to you guys for making me have more reasons to celebrate and be thankful this year.
If you are looking for ideas for what to serve for Thanksgiving dinner, click HERE. Coincidentally, I am still awake at 3am and what do i see on TV? Jamie Oliver one of my food heroes, is making JERK CHICKEN. Sure, that has to be a sign. Hehehehe. He is making it differently though, making the Jerk sauce from scratch too and also using ‘soft chicken’. Pen at the ready to take notes.