Originally originating in Jamaica, barbeque jerk chicken is a deliciously tangy, hot and spicy dish. It is usually served with rice, beans and sweet potatoes. Using a variety of spices, it is one of the most popular dishes in the Caribbean.
The origin of jerk chicken can be traced back to the Taino people, who lived in the Caribbean Islands when Columbus arrived. They developed the “jerk method” of cooking meat, utilizing native herbs and spices. In fact, the word jerk comes from the Spanish word charqui, which means dried meat.
Jerk cooking is a combination of the preservation and cooking techniques of the Jamaican native tribes, with the cooking techniques of West Africans who came to Jamaica. It also developed into the cooking methods of the Maroons, who escaped Spanish rule and introduced open fire pits to jerk meat.
Today, jerk chicken is still grilled over coals in Jamaica, though there are some different techniques that can be used. Traditional jerk chicken is served with cornbread fritters and sweet potatoes. However, it can be served in a variety of ways, including a taco, pizza topping or as a salad.
The best cuts for grilling are sirloin, tenderloin and rump. If you do not have a grill, you can roast the chicken in an oven.
After the chicken is cooked, brush it with jerk BBQ sauce and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then, turn the chicken over and brush with more sauce.