‘Jerk’ is a traditional seasoning mix that is native to Jamaica. It’s wonderfully aromatic and comes alive when you cook it over charcoal or hard wood. There are two ways of marinating with jerk seasoning - either with a dry rub or a wet marinade. We are using the latter. It can really be as hot as you like, depending on how many, and what variety of fresh chillis you use. I like it pretty hot, as the side dishes are soothing and refreshing, which makes for great eating.
Step 1: Jerk Chicken Marinade
Place all of the ingredients, except the chicken portions, in a food processor and blend to a wet paste. Pour over the chicken (make sure it's thoroughly coated). Refrigerate for at least a day for best results.
Step 2: Kumara (sweet potato) Salad
Place the diced kumara in a pot of seasoned cold water. Place on a high heat and bring up to the boil. Check after five minutes. The kumara is ready when it is soft through but not completely falling apart. Remove from the heat, strain and cool on a tray to room temperature.
Once cool, place the kumara in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold through until fully incorporated. Taste and season with salt pepper accordingly. Refrigerate until required.
Step 3: Orange and Red Onion Salsa
Place all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix through, then season accordingly. Refrigerate until required.
Step 4: Cooking and Serving
Heat up your chargrill or flat top to medium high heat. Season the chicken portions with salt, and place on the heat. Cook through. The jerk chicken should pick up plenty of char, don't be concerned. Once cooked through, remove and squeeze over the juice from the limes.
Serve up family style with platters and bowls or individually on plates. Bring out the paper towels, you’ll need them.
Photography by Kieran Scott