Keeping it real … Real Ale
I can actually remember the first time I had jerk chicken, I was in my mate Gav’s kitchen in my early years of college, I can still remember the dry smell of the smoke coming off the frying pan as his dog Troy Boy circled our legs waiting for any spillages or hand-outs. Gav’s Nan use to get the jerk paste from Romford market and it blew our minds! It was the first taste of Caribbean food and I was hooked from the start. Each time we had the jerk chicken we would up the heat till we sweated from every part of our face as we ate it. Now days, even the sniff of something as spicy as we used to eat would possibly cause problems but the first taste of jerk chicken was possibly my earliest memory of really loving food and cooking.
The magic of jerk chicken is really there isn’t a 100% correct way of making it. Jerk can be any rub or marinade, my mate Paul makes an excellent jerk, strong on spice and tangy but whenever I make mine it seems to be sweeter, but that’s the greatness of it all. As soon as I started doing a few food blogs I wanted to make a beer jerk chicken, I thought about a few stouts but in the end went with a can of Magic Rock Dark Arts, I think it’s just a superb stout.
Magic Rock Dark Arts Jerk BBQ Chicken
This recipe is so easy… Get all the ingredients and put it in a saucepan, bring it to boil and then let it simmer for half an hour. Let the sauce completely cool down then put it in a blender and wazz it right up so it’s a lovely thick sauce, if it’s looking a bit runny you can add a bit more tomato ketchup at this point and mix.
Now you can do a few things with this, the plan here it to marinate some chicken for at least 24 hours but you can also boil some chicken breasts then pull the chicken and mix the sauce in for an incredible pulled chicken burger or make a kebab by cooking some chicken breast chunks in the sauce.
For best results BBQ the chicken (if you don’t have a BBQ then oven cook till the chicken is done and the juices run clear), luckily for me my good beer buddy Clayton is a legitimate BBQ God! As part of the “SX Bottleshare Clayfest 16 BBQ” I asked Clayton to BBQ the jerk chicken for me. The smokiness you get from the BBQ is unreal, even the next day when eating the left overs the smell of smoke on my fingertips lasted for hours! Because I was cooking this for other people I bottled it when it came to the level of heat and deseeded the scotch bonnet peppers but looking back the heat was cooked off and I should have been braver and kept the seeds in. Don’t be scared of the heat!
Disclaimer – I paid for all the ingredients in this recipe including the can of Dark Arts, Magic Rock had no idea I was doing this recipe. Clayton cooked the chicken free of charge, however I don’t think this changed my opinions… He is one with the grill and smoke!