Jamaica- Jerk Chicken

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Jamaica is one of my favorite Caribbean islands, mainly due to the company I was around, the good food I filled my belly with, and our amazing resort. I’ve crossed off so many bucket list items on this trip, including a dolphin swim and horseback riding.

I’ve never ridden on a horse before and browsing through the excursion booklet, horseback riding on the beach looks romantic, right?  Boy, was I wrong. Not only did my friend’s horse almost jumped down the cliff, driving me into near panic attack, mines also ended up catapulting me into the water. Definitely not trying to deter anyone from going horseback riding, just stating what happened in my experience and why getting back on is the last thing on my mind at this point.

I was a pescatarian for 2-3 years prior to this trip. We had just finished our dolphin encounter tour and were all starving.  The excursion included lunch, either the vegetarian option of french fries with rice, or chicken with rice.  I was battling between the somewhat more balanced meal vs the vegetarian meal, and opted for the chicken.  I won’t say it was the best meal, since my options were limited, but it was the perfect ending to the day trip. The live music playing in the background, overlooking the turquoise blue water, combined with dolphins singing, it was a picturesque moment and what prompted me to make this recipe.

Serves 4

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3 lbs of chicken, boned in and skin on (I used breast ribs but you can definitely use boneless thighs to cut down cooking time)

1/2 cup cilantro (plus more to garnish), roughly chopped

1 tsp thyme

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp oil (divided)

Salt and pepper

1 medium onion,  cut into 1″ pieces

2 scotch bonnet peppers, de-seeded (these peppers are hot, omit if you prefer more mild)

3 garlic cloves

1/2 tbsp five spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup Braggs aminos

 

Directions:

In a food processor, add all ingredients (besides 1 tbsp oil and chicken) and blend into coarse paste. In a large bowl, marinade chicken using the paste, rub all over chicken, cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

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Preheat oven to 275 degrees Farenheit. Put chicken in a large baking dish or pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 1 hr (if using bonelepss thighs, 30 minutes should be adequate). In the mean time, heat a small sauce pan on low-medium heat and add the leftover marinade. Cook until you get a thick, syrup like reduction, set aside.  Heat a large pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil, place chicken pieces skin side down and sear for 10 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat, top with reduction, and garnish with cilantro. Best served with rice.

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Can you see the fear in my eyes? haha
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Irie vibes

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