Take a break from the usual hamburgers and steaks this summer and throw a little Caribbean flavor on the grill
Nothing quite captures a trip to Jamaica like the smell of jerk spices wafting through the air, and recreating your favorite Caribbean meals at home is easier than you might think! We turned to Chef Uonie Lyn, Jamaica’s first female Chef of the Year, for her simplified take on this traditional Jamaican dish.
The secret to Chef Lyn’s recipe is the addition of authentic jerk marinades: readily available in North America, these time-saving mixes will let you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the sunshine. Serve up this BBQ dish with your choice of Caribbean sides: think grilled sweet potato, plantain, or corn on the cob. Want to try more of Chef Lyn’s recipes? For the full experience, book a stay at Hidden Bay Villa, Jamaica, where Chef Lyn is the Culinary Consultant and high season Executive Chef.
Chef Lyn’s Jerk Chicken
1 whole chicken (bone in) cut in half
1 head of garlic
6 scallions, chopped
4 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 a scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper)
1/2 bottle of Red Stripe beer (or other lager)
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp bottled Walkerswood jerk marinade*
Salt and pepper to taste
(The night before or 3-4 hours before cooking)
♦ In a blender add the onion, garlic, thyme, chili, soy sauce, jerk seasoning and beer.
♦ Blend until smooth and pour over chicken.
♦ Cover and refrigerate overnight.
One hour before dinner:
♦ Prepare Chef Lyn’s jerk sauce recipe (below)
♦ Fire up the grill and reduce to medium heat
♦ Sear the chicken on both sides
♦ Move the chicken to the side of the grill and cook for about 30 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally and basting with the jerk sauce.
♦ Serve with rice and peas, grilled sweet potato, plantain, or corn on the cob
Chef Lyn’s Jerk Sauce
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Red Stripe beer (or other lager)
½ cup of tomato sauce or ketchup
1 tbsp of rosemary
1 tbsp of Walkerswood jerk seasoning*
♦ Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
♦ Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
♦ Reserve half of the sauce to serve with the meal and use the remaining sauce for basting.
See all our Jamaica villa rentals
* This seasoning, or other similar made-in-Jamaica jerk spice mixes are readily available online or at Caribbean specialty stores in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.