Embracing the Flavors of the Caribbean with Jerk Chicken

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Looking through my pantry, I noticed how I just have a lot of spices laying around. I find that I’ll buy a jar and only use it once or twice. This is especially true with my large jar of coconut oil. Since I’ve been trying to make more Paleo friendly recipes, I went and bought a huge jar. Now in an attempt to make the most of what I have, I needed to make something for dinner using the ingredients I already have on hand. And of course I went to my Pinterest dinner boards to see what would inspire me. I decided to make a version of Jerk Chicken with the spices I have. The only other time I’ve actually had this type of chicken was when I was vacationing in Jamaica, so the bar was set pretty high for how dinner should turn out.

I knew the end result should be a great combination of spicy and sweet, with an undeniable charred chicken skin. And since I don’t have  a re-purposed oil drum turned into grill, I was going to try and mimic this using the oven.

I actually think for my first time attempting to make Jerk Chicken, dinner turned out really well. I used some Habanero peppers I had for the spice and raw honey to add a touch of sweetness. The chicken turned out to have a great charred effect through the use of the broiler. And looking back over my ingredient list, I felt happy that it complied with eating the Paleo way!

Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 organic dark meat chicken quarters, skin left on
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Habaneros peppers, seeded and sliced (If you prefer less spicy, substitute jalapenos)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • Juice of 2 limes

To make the marinade, place the the green onions, shallot, habanero, garlic, ginger powder, coconut oil, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a mortar and pestle. Combine the ingredients well until you get a thick paste. Add in the honey and lime, mix well.

Place the chicken quarters in a gallon size Ziploc bag and cover the chicken with the marinade and coat well. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove chicken from the marinade and place in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil. Roast for about 40-45 minutes on the middle rack, turning once about half way through.

To get a good browning on the outside, change the the oven temperature to broil and move the oven rack to the highest position. Broil for 3 minutes on the first side, then flip and broil for another 3 minutes on the second side.

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