Every Jamaican believes their jerk sauce is the best and almost every Jamaican refuses to reveal their secret ingredients, except to say, ‘pimento (allspice) is essential’ and there must be a spicy sour-sweet taste. The amount of oil, soy and vinegar is disputed, yet the liquid-paste ratio must be correct to allow the sauce to stick to the chicken, and oil helps it do just that.
Like every Jamaican we have looked at other versions, tasted various jerked chicken and come to the usual conclusion. As long as you follow the basic rules, what is left is personal taste. So after countless experiments and experiences this is the one we like for now, we might change our minds in a while though, you never know.
- 270 ml orange juice
- 120 ml olive oil / vegetable oil
- 120 g onions / 10 spring onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp allspice, dry-roasted, ground
- 45 g palm sugar
- 45 ml soy sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped small
- 4 cm (40 g) ginger root, chopped small
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- 15 ml rice vinegar
- 10 g black pepper, ground
- 4 scotch bonnet red peppers / jalapenos peppers, chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 5 g coarse sea salt
- 1 lime, juice
- Nutmeg, large pinch
Combine all the ingredients (except the chicken), blend into a loose paste. Coat chicken in the paste, marinade in refrigerator overnight.
Bake on a grill pan in the oven at 180ºC for an hour, turning and basting after half an hour, or grill turning constantly. Alternatively do what the Jamaicans do, cook it slowly over a wood-fired barbeque.