Jerk Spice Trials and Tribulations

For better or for worse, this is not the first time I’ve made an attempt at capturing the nuances of the jerk spice seasoning. Truth time: at the tender age of 19, I misguidedly followed a recipe for “jerk chicken or tofu”, opting for the tofu. This so-called recipe also suggested using a toaster oven rather than a real oven to cook the tiny strips that I had cut and covered in a dry spice rub. When I took them out, they were crumbling and tasteless except for the slight burning sensation due to the chilies.

About a year ago, and with much, MUCH more cooking experience under my belt, I nicked a recipe from an online mag and wrote about it for Miss Curry. While the recipe was truly delicious, I still have been searching for the right mixture. It should be noted that I  have been experimenting mainly with wet marinades, rather than dry spice rubs (perhaps blame my previous experience; apparently there are two schools of thought and I seem to be very much aligned with this one.)

This time round, I just decided to wing it. After all, it’s what I do best. The following jerk recipe is still not El Dorado, but was delicious, balanced, and very well received.


2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

4 spring onions

1 thumb fresh ginger, grated

several sprigs of fresh thyme

1/4 c. soy sauce

1/4 c. brown sugar

juice of 1 orange

juice of 3 limes

3-4 Scotch Bonnet Peppers

splash canola or other neutral oil

splash white vinegar


chicken thighs and legs

This is another one of those recipes where you bung it all into the blender. However, do plan on letting the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours. I have read that people make little cuts in the chicken so that the marinade will work its way into the meat- I am more likely to use a fork to puncture; either way works.

jerked chix

If you don’t have a healthy supply of pimento wood (the key to true jerk flavor) and a massive outdoor grill, just do as I do and utilize the broiler function of your oven. Basically an upside down grill, it ensures a quick cooking time. Just cook each side for about 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Be sure to check that the temp is at 170F before taking out. An alternative way is to roast the chicken at 350F for a half hour, then quickly finish under the broiler. Either way, you should be sitting pretty. If you have a jerk recipe you would like to share, please do!

Read about our other Caribbean Week recipes here:


Homemade Salt Cod

Jamaican Lime Curry

This entry was published on June 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm. It’s filed under curry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Jerk Spice Trials and Tribulations

  1. Pingback: Homemade Salt Cod | miss curry

  2. Pingback: ¡Cubanos! | miss curry

  3. Pingback: Saltfish Run Down | miss curry

  4. Pingback: Porc Colombo | miss curry

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