Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. I am obsessed with the spice mixture flavour and how it coats the chicken to make it incredibly crispy and charred.
1 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
? tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp runny honey
a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scotch bonnet chillies
1 clove of garlic
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
4 chicken thighs, skin on
4 chicken drumsticks, skin on
Pound the allspice berries, peppercorns and chilli flakes in a pestle and mortar until finely ground, then mix in the sugar and honey.
Finely chop the parsley, chillies, garlic and ginger, add to the spice mixture and bash it all up some more. Add the green parts of the spring onions and a good drizzle of oil and mix well.
Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it into the meat. Leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200?C/gas mark 6, then cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally. Finish these off on the barbecue for 5 minutes to get all lovely and charred, or alternatively you can just finish them in the oven. When the chicken is ready, squeeze a little lime juice over it, then take it off the grill or out of the oven and be ready to tuck in. Serve with some crispy sweet potato curly fries and a nice salad.
Extracted from Fakeaway: Fast Food Made Healthy by Chef Adrian (aka Adrian Martin) (Mercier Press, €16.99). Photographs by Rob Kerkvliet.
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