A Food Enthusiast’s Guide to Jerk Chicken

HomeCaribbean Hut Blog, Charlotte, NCA Food Enthusiast’s Guide to Jerk Chicken

As you can guess from our name, we at Caribbean Hut specialize in traditional Caribbean food, and few dishes from this region are as well-known as jerk chicken. While many people recognize this term, fewer have a real understanding of what jerk chicken is or what makes it unique. In this article, we’ll cover some key information about this delicious dish in order to convince you to give it a try.

  • Origins of the Term Jerk Chicken. We’ll start by going over why this dish is called jerk chicken. According to food historians, the word jerk comes from the Peruvian word charqi, which refers to dried strips of meat, or what English speakers would call jerky. The term began as a noun, then evolved into a verb, with jerking coming to refer to poking holes in meat in order to let spices and seasonings permeate throughout the cut.
  • How is Jerk Chicken Seasoned? While there are variations between one jerk spice blend and another, in general, this flavor profile tends to include onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, paprika, parsley, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, and cumin. This combination gives jerk chicken its signature blend of savory, spicy, and sweet that people have come to love.
  • How Jerk Chicken is Cooked. In the past, jerk chicken was often cooked over hot rocks or barbequed over a lattice of wood. These days most jerk chicken is cooked over modern grills, but that doesn’t sacrifice any of the delectable flavor.