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Jerk Chicken at Jamaica Pavilion – World Expo 2020

Jerk is one of the enduring legacies of the fusion of African and Taíno cultures in Jamaica.

 The term refers to the way in which meat is seasoned, smoked and grilled. Whereas a historical jerk seasoning recipe calls for bird peppers, pimento and pepper elder, modern recipes may include Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, garlic, ginger, pimento, thyme and cinnamon. Like barbecue from the American South, jerk today is a remnant from the era of slavery, when Maroons would transform tough cuts of meat into tender, delicious dishes. 

A taste of the renowned Jamaican Jerk Chicken

 Chef Richie from Ms. Lily’s Dubai, a Jamaican restaurant is at World Expo Dubai 2020 giving gourmands a taste if this amazing style of cooking chicken which needsseasoned meat wrapped it in pepper elder leaves to be cooked in “an underground smokeless pit  roasted over dying embers.”

Jerk seasoning like reggae music … has become a global Jamaican brand. Every year, Grace Foods, the island’s largest manufacturer and exporter of Jamaican food products, sells close to three million jars of jerk seasoning (paste) globally.

Chef Richie, at the award winning Jamaican Pavillion at Dubai Expo explained the making and marination/seasoning of the authentic Jerk Chicken of Jamaica. Jerk paste acts as a marinade, allowing the flavors, which intensify during smoking, to penetrate the meat right to the bone.The visitors could dig into a plate of deliciousness

Entwined in the Island’’s history as it is, Jerk (especially chicken) is an integral part of Jamaican Christmas dinner. Boston, Portland is credited as the original birthplace of jerk cuisine and the first instances of jerk cooked for commercial sale in Jamaica. The area, just west of San San and Port Antonio, is still home to the original jerk pits which eventually became the Boston Jerk Center, dating back to the 1940’s.

It began as a method of cooking wild boar or pork. While in the 1940’s the traditional meal served in Boston was jerk pork and roasted breadfruit, today you can find many jerk dishes, both in Boston and around the island. Enjoy jerk chicken, lobster, shrimp, fish as well as fruits and natural fruit juices among other culinary treats.

MUST DO IN JAMAICA:

The Boston Jerk Center is located just half a mile from the first jerk pit to exist in Boston. Today, Ivy’s Jerk Centre and Shaggy’s Jerk Shop are situated on the grounds of the 3rd and 4th jerk pits in the area’s history. While there, say hello to DJ Sheppy, the resident disc jockey of the Boston Jerk Center, keeps the tunes going while visitors enjoy their meals. Be sure to stop by his music shop.

HOW TO MAKE JERK CHICKEN AT HOME:

6 medium-sized Scotch bonnet peppers (can substitute with any hot red chilli powder)
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions
6 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons oil (olive, vegetable, or canola)
3 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt (omit if using on ham)
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon pimento berries (or 1½ teaspoons allspice)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Method

Place ingredients in a blender and pulse until the mixture turns into a smooth paste. The marinade can last up to six months in the refrigerator.After marinating the chicken, place it in a preheated oven and cook it for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes at least or until cooked through. Turn the oven on to broil, and cook until the skin crisps, 2 to 5 minutes.

The smoky and hot taste comes from having the chicken marinated in hot spices overnigh

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