Jerk chicken for the Jamaican soul

Jerk Chicken Tacos. (Photo by Arohie Chopra)

Have you had enough of this icy, cold Canadian weather? Well, it’s time to turn up the heat with a tropical twist on a classic Jamaican dish.

After spending my Christmas holidays in Jamaica, I learned three things: the Patois language is extremely addictive, the “no worries” attitude is incredibly infatuating and the craving for authentic jerk chicken is constant and everlasting.

I was daring enough to climb the Dunn’s River Falls and cliff dive from Rick’s Café but, upon my return, I was intimidated by this recipe and its elaborate list of spices. Finally, I decided it was time to tie up my hair, roll up my sleeves and prepare for a jammin’ time!

Once you have successfully marinated the chicken, feel free to be creative. You can eat a traditional jerk chicken meal by including side dishes such as rice and plankton or attempt this Caribbean inspired recipe for jerk chicken tacos.


Jerk Chicken Tacos. (Photo by Arohie Chopra)

(Serves four)

2 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)

6 to 8 tortillas


Jerk Chicken Marinade:

2 yellow onions (chopped)

1 bunch of green onions (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (chopped)

1 cup orange juice

2 tbsp lime juice

2 chili peppers (chopped)

1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp ginger powder

¼ cup honey

¾ cup soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

½ tsp sage

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup olive oil

½ cup white vinegar

Salt (to taste)


Mango Salsa:

1 red onion (diced)

1 tomato (diced)

1 green onion (diced)

1 mango (diced)

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup cilantro

salt, pepper and ground cayenne pepper to taste


1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and puree until smooth.

2. In a well-greased non-stick skillet, cook the chicken at medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping once in between. Once it is golden brown on both sides, add ¼ cup of water and cover the skillet. Let the chicken simmer gently for another seven minutes.

3. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it cool slightly. Using two forks shred the chicken.

4. In a large bowl add the shredded chicken and coat with the marinade. Once the chicken is thoroughly covered, place it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least two hours.

5. Mix all the ingredients for the mango salsa in a separate bowl.

6. When ready to serve, warm up the chicken and warm the tortillas. Garnish with the mango salsa.



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