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What to serve with Jerk Chicken

  • b

What are some favourite side dishes to serve with Jerk chicken. Also do you make your own jerk or do you buy it in a jar? What is a favourite brand or recipe?

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  1. I usually just buy it, my favourite sides are rice and peas with oxtail gravy and some fried plantains.

    1. I would go with Rice and Peas and Fried Plantains(Maduros) as well.

      1. I like black beans rather than peas. And yes to the plantains.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater

          I think that the rice and "peas" referred to in Jamaican cooking IS black beans rather than peas. If it's not black beans, it's a another kind of small bean.

          1. re: ballulah

            I always thought it was Pidgeon Peas(which is actually a bean I think) that was in Rice and Peas but I may very well be wrong. I have never been to Jamaica.

            1. re: King of Northern Blvd

              That actually sounds right. I think that pidgeon peas may be hard to come by, and I've seen black beans used in rice and peas. I guess the salient point is that the peas in "rice and peas" aren't really peas as most people know them. haha.

              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                The Pigeon peas are also called Gungo peas.Small Kidney beans are also commonly used in addition to the Gungos or alone.

          2. If you have access to a grill at this time of year, that's the best way to cook the chicken after marinating overnight in this Sara Moulton recipe, the closest I've tasted to what we've had on Jamaican beaches the few times we were there. If you are able to find the habaneros or scotch bonnet peppers fresh, BE CAREFUL handling them and I would advise you wear gloves because the oils are fiercely hot if you rub your eyes afterwards! Recipe link below and I agree with above recommendations to have rice & peas with it:


            1. In a pinch (like during the middle of the week), I use store-bought Walker's Jerk Marinade. Its fine and hot and spicy. I add my own dried seasoning to the meat as well. Works well enough if time is short.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Ora

                I bought a jar of Walkerswood (I'm assuming same brand as yours) after some people have touted it on this board. I am anxious to try it but I keep forgetting it's buried in my cupboard. I guess once Spring rolls around I will try...

                1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                  Walkerswood is excellent jerk marinade. Great seasoning and great spice. I've used it for pork and chicken. An overnight marinade and then grilled in a cast iron grill pan and finished in the oven (I live in NYC and don't have a real grill).

                  If you want to go all out, I'd serve it with some festival (a sweetish breadstick) and some potatoes... the way they do it at Scotchies in Mo Bay.

                  1. re: ESNY

                    On my way home from Jamaica I picked up a bottle of Walkerswood jerk marinade hoping it would be similar to the local offerings. I was severly disappointed with the chicken wings I marinaded overnight, the wings were bland with no spice at all. I am picking up some of the Penzeys jerk spice this week when I go to the Arlington store.

              2. The only thing I have ever used is Walkers. I think it is very good although I wouldn't know good from bad, as Jerk is reletively new to me. I do know I love it! What dry seasoning do you use , Ora?

                1 Reply
                1. re: BJE

                  a little onion & garlic powder and a bit of black pepper and salt as a base, then I rub in the desired amount of wet jerk marinade.

                2. Make the jerk rub/marinade from scratch. I serve rice and black beans as a side.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: swsidejim

                    How do you make the jerk rub/marinade from scratch?

                    1. re: BJE

                      I have done both a dry rub, and a wet jerk marinade.

                      My basic ingredients are:

                      Habaneros (fresh for the marinade, and a dried crushed habaneros for the dry rub)
                      black pepper
                      oilive oil, rum, and some folks use vinegar & soy sauce for the wet marinade

                      I am one of those cooks who rarely measures ingredients, so I just start throwing the spices in a bowl, and make it to my taste.

                      for the dry rub, you can either dry your own habaneros, or buy them from a spice purveyor.

                      1. re: swsidejim

                        I thought Scotch Bonnets were the chiles used in jerk?

                        1. re: ballulah

                          they are, but where I live the habanero is much easier to find in the store, so I substitute, they are a very close cousin and like I said easier to find for me.

                          1. re: swsidejim

                            Scotch Bonnet is just another name for the Habanero Pepper actually and only because the shape resembles the crumpled headwear of the old day Scotsman...back from the Colonial times prior to the Spanish influence on pepper names!

                                1. re: George Bowman

                                  Reply to George....Not really the same, but close enough for "government work". There are many "land races" of chinenses peppers. And while I'm sticking my nose in, "pigeon peas" are popular on some islands ( i.e. Bahamas, where it is called "peas and rice" http://www.ehow.com/how_2284131_prepa... ) and small red or kidney beans on others.

                      2. I've made a lot of jerk chicken over the years and this slaw recipe always goes well with it.

                        One tip, dress the slaw just before serving or it may get too wet.


                        1. There is a Caribbean (could be Jamaican) dish known as Dirty Rice that uses many of the same spices as Jerk. You may find it too similar to the Jerk, but it's a consideration. I don't have a recipe, I just look at internet recipes and use what I have handy.

                          1. Black beans and coconut rice for sides. I have a dry jerk mix that I combine with red wine vinegar and canola oil and marinate overnight.

                            1. I like my jerk chicken with plaintains, ginger beer and some fresh mango or papaya.

                              Borrowing from another island-- Roti (rice dish) is super!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: drmimi

                                Roti is a bread as I know it. What dish are you speaking of?

                              2. Red Stripe. Hooray Beer!

                                And the black beans as mentioned above with some red onion (I like caramelized leeks, but that's not authentic). Coconut rice is nice when you don't go overboard with the coconut - use a light hand.

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: Panini Guy

                                    Ditto with the Red Stripe!
                                    A restaurant we love has a wonderful jerk chicken made with a breadfruit marinade, scotch bonnets and so much flavor.
                                    But traditional sides, rice and peas, and finish it off with a rich rum poundcake with pineapple or coconut ice cream!

                                  2. I thought I would chime in on my favorite jerk brand and I would have to say it is Walkerswood, Get the Jerk Seasoning (Hot & Spicy), the yellow label, it is a paste that you rub on your meat. It goes great with chicken and lamb, I would suggest you use it sparingly as it is strong and little goes a long way.

                                    It is hard to find at the local grocery stores in Boston, it is easier to get at your local Caribbean corner stores or online. It's about $5.00 a bottle, get two, you'll be surprised at how fast it goes!

                                      1. Easy to make marinade using food processor. Makes ~ 2 cups.

                                        1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
                                        1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme
                                        1 small habañero chili or 2 medium jalapeño chilies, seeded
                                        3 lg. garlic cloves, peeled
                                        1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
                                        1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                        1/2 cup soy sauce
                                        1 teaspoon ground allspice

                                        1. I plan on making jerk chicken and coconut rice this weekend, what is a good veggie side to go with this dish? Suggestions welcomed...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Foodienewbee

                                            Baked and caramelized plantains or steamed snap peas?

                                          2. Beans and rice and slaw, of course! I have always done black or red beans with my rice because that is what I remember eating in Jamaica, but I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with any kind of legume.
                                            If you want something that's more like baked beans, I've used a recipe like this to raves for years:

                                            +1 for Walkerswood Jerk. I just bought a case last month. Busha Browne's is another excellent (almost better) brand of premade jerk paste: http://www.farawayfoods.com/jerkseaso...
                                            It's got the same (proper, imo) flavor profile but is much, much saltier which is better when it's used as a marinade but inedible if you want to eat it straight out of the jar which I do with Walkerswood. These are the only two products that I have ever found that taste like what I've eaten in Jamaica.
                                            If I am out of bottled paste, I use this recipe:
                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... but it needs A LOT more salt. Leave out the cinnamon.
                                            With the Walkerswood brand paste I season the meat pretty heavily with salt before applying the paste/marinade. This is really key, IME.
                                            And it MUST be grilled. The char is one of the most important flavor elements!