Wow! I want more he grumbled with his mouth full. When my husband first ate this jerk stew that was all the words he could utter. This recipe has since been on repeat. Real authentic jerk is typically defined by the pimento spice (allspice), the very spicy scotch bonnet or habanero pepper and it is typically slow cooked on the grilled on top of smoked pimento wood. The resulting flavor is very pungent, smokey and a whole lot of finger licking goodness.
This version of my stew was influenced by incorporating some of the flavors of the jerk spices and it has a bunch of twist and turns – like the liquid smoke to give it a hint of smoky taste and the rice wine vinegar. I also love chickpeas so I added it to the recipe but you can sub potatoes or just skip this step altogether. And I like to keep the hot pepper whole (being careful not to break it while I do all the mixing and stirring) as this minimizes the amount of pepper heat. If you like it very spicy you can either chop the pepper or during cooking when the pepper softens up break it. Beware, you may need to drink milk to cool your mouth. Good luck with that.
What I like about this dish is that it is not too sweet – some jerk chicken can be too heavy with the sugar. [I don’t like the sweeter taste]. But I do think the sugar mellows out the pungency of the dish. The chicken is fork tender and all the spices come together with a bam! I hope you will give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we do. Happy Cooking!
Try these other unique Jerk Recipes:
Jerk Chicken Stew | Chef Yasmin’s version
A well seasoned jerk chicken stew influenced by the Jamaican food culture with a few of my own twists.
- 3 1/2 pounds cut up chicken parts (I used a whole chicken and some extra wings). Rinse and dry chicken, if you prefer.
- 2 cups chicken broth (I use chicken bone broth)
- 15 ounces canned chickpeas rinsed thoroughly
PRODUCE AND HERBS:
- 1 large onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions (about 5 to 6) chopped
- 4 small plum tomatoes diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic freshly crushed or finely minced
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme (tie the thyme with a piece of kitchen twine)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 scotch bonnet or harbnero hot pepper (leave the pepper whole)
SPICES AND SWEETENER:
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground all spice
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
OTHER LIQUID INGREDIENTS:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Mesquite Liquid Smoke (optional)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
In a large saute pan, heat the olive and sesame oil over medium heat.
Saute the sliced onions 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.
Add the scallions, mix and cook 1 minute
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix and cook 5 minutes until the spices are very fragrant.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until it starts to break down.
Add the lime juice and rice wine vinegar. Cook 1 minute until it’s mostly evaporated.
Add the soy sauce and liquid smoke if using. Stir.
Add brown sugar. Stir.
Add thyme and bay leaves.
Add in the chicken parts. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to coat with tomato spice mixture.
Add the chick peas and whole hot pepper. Mix to combine
Turn up the heat to medium high. Pour in the chicken broth. Stir.
Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover the pan with a tight lid. Cook until chicken is very tender, flip the chicken parts over at least once during the cooking – about half way of the cooking time. I cooked the chicken for 1 hour until it falls off the bone.
Turn off the stove. Serve on your favorite beans and rice, if preferred. Garnish with fresh scallions. Enjoy!
Note: Remember to discard the bay leaves and thyme.
I buy liquid smoke in my local grocery store in the condiments aisle. The smoky taste truly makes a difference.
The reason I leave the pepper whole is that is keeps the heat at minimum and I serve the cooked pepper on the side.