Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

SS Empire Windrush

Jerk Chicken

If you fancy a taste of the Caribbean, why not try this simple recipe?

A barbecue recipe by Virginia Burke, director of Bamboula Caribbean restaurant in London. This recipe is taken from her book Eat Caribbean (Simon and Schuster, £18.99) and reproduced by kind permission of the publisher.

Step One: Jerk Seasoning (makes 180ml / 2/3 cup)

6 spring onions
1-3 Scotch bonnet peppers (use 1 pepper if you don’t want it seriously hot!)
2 tsp allspice berries or 1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cane vinegar or distilled (white) malt vinegar
1 tbsp oil

The traditional method is to crudely mash all the ingredients up with a mortar and pestle and use to marinate the meat, discarding any large bits of spring onion, etc, before cooking. To make it easier, you can use a blender to reduce all the ingredients to a thick paste.

Step Two: Jerk Chicken

1 fresh lime (or lemon)
1.5 kg chicken, jointed (skin on)
2 tablespoons Jerk Seasoning (above)
Oil, for brushing

Squeeze the lime or lemon juice into a bowl of water and rinse the chicken. Pat dry.

Rub the jerk seasoning all over the chicken and leave to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

Light the barbecue and get it so that the coals are covered with a layer of white ash. Brush the chicken and the grill with oil. Cook the chicken over a medium heat for about 20 minutes. Then cover the barbecue and cook for a further 20 minutes or until done.

[Grab your grill pan, oven or casserole dish if necessary. I only draw the line at the microwave.]