Jerk chicken cooked in a grill pan

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Ingredients

  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground garlic
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small habenero pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1Tbs soy sauce

Everything was added to a small food processor and pulsed until a smooth paste was obtained.  I put a whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (1.5 lbs) in a one gallon Ziploc bag and poured in the jerk paste.  The paste was massaged onto the chicken and rested in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day I took the chicken out of the marinade and used paper towels to dry it off.  I wanted to remove the moisture from the surface, not the seasonings, so I just gently pressed paper towels onto the meat.

Ready for the grill pan.

Dried and ready for the grill.

I preheated my grill pan for five minutes on medium heat and then added the chicken.  One of the tricky parts about cooking chicken breasts is that they are extremely uneven.  One side is very thick and cooks slower than the slender end.  By the time the breast is done in the thickest part it is often overcooked and dry everywhere else.  My approach to this problem is to bring out my old foil wrapped brick and use it as a press on the thick part of the breast.  This helps the thick part cook faster while laying down some excellent grill marks at the same time.

Brick used as a grill pan press.

Press the thick side of the breast for even cooking.

I grilled the chicken for six minutes, flipped and grilled the other side for six minutes.  When I flipped the chicken I also flipped the brick as I didn’t want the side that had been in contact with the raw chicken to come into contact with the cooked chicken.  After twelve minutes the internal temperature of the thick part of the breast was 150 degrees.  I flipped the chicken and cooked for another three minutes then flipped and cooked for another three.  After 18 minutes of grilling the chicken was at 160 degrees and perfectly cooked.   Great grill marks and very juicy all the way through.

Grilled chicken.

Grilled to perfection!

You can serve this as an entrée for two or you can slice it up and use as a topping for just about anything.  I ended up making a salad for one meal and some tacos for another.

Jerk chicken salad.

Jerk Chicken Salad

I am going to change up my jerk paste the next time I make this.  This will be better using fresh ginger and garlic instead of powdered.  I will also use a large habenero instead of a small one as the heat level was much lower than I expected.

By the way, if you make this recipe be sure to throw away the foil on your brick after you are done cooking.