When John and I went to Toronto, I had one of the most delicious meals at Patois. Patois is a small restaurant that has Caribbean, Asian and soul food influences. When we decided we were going to travel to Toronto, I immediately made a reservation there because the mash-up of flavors just sounded phenomenal. We tried the jerk chicken and it was juicy, spicy and so flavorful. My mouth is watering just typing about it.
Jerk chicken has always been one of my favorite ways to eat chicken but I’ve never attempted to make it. Each time I would tell myself I’d make it at home, I would get discouraged for some reason. To make jerk chicken in a traditional manner, I feel like it takes some love and patience. Most of the time, I don’t have that type of love and patience. I’d rather just go out to a restaurant and enjoy the labor of someone else making it. You understand, right?
I think the art to mastering a perfectly flavored jerk spice blend is making sure there’s an equal balance of flavors. I know, here I am, the girl who never made traditional jerk chicken is telling you the perfect way to make it. BUT IT’S TRUE. I had some jerk chicken not too long ago and flavor was just overpowering with allspice. I bit into it and it just tasted like allspice chicken. No jerk. It wasn’t good.
If you’re looking for a flavorful yet simplified version of jerk chicken, I’ve got the perfect one. Thanks to my friends (friends in my head, of course) at Bon Appetit, they’ve provided us with an easy recipe that reflects all of the goodness of the traditional recipe. There’s a little sweet, a bit of spice and a whole lot of flavor. I love it!
Traditionally jerk chicken gets its spice from scotch bonnet peppers, which are very hot. In this version, the heat comes from cayenne pepper. What I love most about this recipe is that there’s enough spice mix leftover for another use. Ready to make a simplified version of jerk chicken? Let’s do it.