Originating in Jamaica, Jerk Chicken is believed to have been created by the Maroons, who were slaves that escaped to the hills of Jamaica and formed their own settlements. They would season and cook wild boar over open flames, and this technique eventually evolved into the jerk style of cooking.
Jerk chicken is known for its spicy and smoky flavor, which comes from the combination of scotch bonnet peppers (which grows native in Jamaica), allspice berries, and smoke from the wood fire. The chicken is typically marinated in a mixture of spices and then grilled over a wood fire. Here is a link to an amazing Jerk Chicken Spice Rub from Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company. This blend contains all of the traditional spices needed to make smoky, fiery, flavorful jerk chicken. For a spicier flavor, apply jerk spice rub to the chicken a full day in advance, cover, and refrigerate.
Try out this flavorful recipe for making jerk chicken:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
Enjoy your homemade jerk chicken!
Note: If you can't find scotch bonnet peppers, you can use habanero peppers instead. Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers to avoid irritation. Additionally, if you don't have a grill or grill pan, you can bake the chicken in the oven at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.