Oven Baked Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Are you tired of eating the same old chicken dishes? Maybe you’re craving a new recipe that’s easy and packed full of flavor? Look no further because your chicken rut stops here!
This recipe was introduced to me many years ago from my middle sister, Ellen, who had a surprise 30th birthday for me. Over the years, Ellen has explored new flavors that differ from the way we grew up. Eating her cooking was always intriguing and delicious .
I have to say this dish lacks presentation! In a crazy way it pushes us beyond our normal boundaries. We tend to eat with our eyes. Meaning most people have to like what we see before trying something. It may lack eye appeal, but it sure has a surprisingly addictive combination of flavors! The mixture is a blend of flavorful spices, questionable heat, and addictive sweet tones.
As I said earlier, I acquired this recipe from my sister, but I’m unsure where she got it from. Over the years I’ve tweaked the spice, heat and sweetness. I can’t really say that there’s one way it has to be done. That’s the fun part of cooking. You can adjust tastes to your liking. When you take the basic ingredients, adjust portions, then throw the array of flavors in a blender and hit pulse, it becomes a magical Jamaican potion.
If you’re a fan of spicy peppers, then play around with the peppers. You’re looking for a nice balance in heat, spice and sweetness. I personally use jalapenos in this recipe because 2 out of my 3 kids don’t like real hot or spicy. Jalapenos seem to give a little kick without overpowering the dish.
1 1/2 c. coarse chopped green onions, white and green parts (I used 2 bunches)
1 T. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground all spice
1 small habanero or 3 medium jalapenos
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. or 1/2.c soy sauce (your choice)
5 average to small sized boneless skinless chicken breasts, raw or cooked; chopped into even chunks (read below)
small handful of chives, sage, and parsley (optional)
bunch of fresh cilantro (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put all the ingredients, except the chicken, into a blender; chop and puree.
I’ve used this recipe by starting with raw chicken and pouring the puree over all chicken. There’s times I’ve let it marinate and then there’s times I just popped it in the oven. I can’t say I noticed a difference in the taste either way.
I’ve also used this recipe by sautéing the chicken chunks first, then pouring the puree over all chicken, and then popping in the oven.
Bake 30-45 minutes, covered most of the time. Uncover the last 10-15 minutes to brown the chicken and the sauce will thicken some too.
Serve over rice or insert toothpicks and serve as an appetizer.