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Sweet & Spicy Jerk Chicken at Home!

Jerk ChickenThe other day I was watching Nigella Kitchen and Nigella made an amazing sweet and spicy jerk chicken at home. I love jerk chicken but have never attempted to make it in my own kitchen. It seemed like something I was meant to enjoy on vacation, until Nigella showed me otherwise! I made this over the weekend and my whole family loved it. The marinade takes about two minutes to pull together in the food processor during the day and then the chicken can marinade until you are ready to bake it. The cooked chicken was moist and succulent and covered in a delicious sweet, spicy paste. It was the first time I’ve tasted anything remotely as authentic as the real thing in a home kitchen!

Sweet & Spicy Jerk Chicken

adapted from Nigella Lawson

6 chicken breasts

2 teaspoons ground allspice

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

¼ cup dark rum

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup soy sauce

½ cider vinegar

1 fresh red chile

1 onion, peeled and quartered

  1. Make three slashes on each chicken breast and place them slashed side down in a deep baking dish.
  2. Place the allspice, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, ginger root, dark brown sugar, dark rum, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, chili and onion in the food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse until it is a dense paste. Pour it into the pan with the chicken breasts and cover with plastic wrap. Marinade the chicken for at least four hours, or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a rimmed roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the chicken, slash side up, on the foil and pour the marinade around it. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove the pan for the oven and pour out the liquid from the marinade and place any paste back on top of the chicken. Roast for an additional 20 minutes. At this time a crust should form on the chicken and it will be cooked through.
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