What better way to get in the summer mood than to grill up a fresh tropical meal?? This marinated Jerk Chicken is seriously delicious, and of course it’s just that much better when you take the extra time to make the Mango Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice to pair with it! The fusion of island flavors here is most definitely set to impress. It’s a meal you’ll crave and want to make again and again!
Of course this chicken is good on its own when you don’t have time to make the salsa or rice and you can just serve it with sauteed or steamed veggies. But everything is better when there’s avocado involved, right?
As far as heat goes, I have to make this recipe to be edible to my kids so I just use a jalapeno pepper (and I actually do leave the seeds and it’s not too spicy for them, the salsa tones done the spice of the jalapeno) but if you like really spicy foods you can go with the more traditional scotch bonnet pepper or a habanero pepper for lots of heat. Just be sure to use gloves when handling the peppers as they have oils in them (called capsaicinin) that can damage and really sting your eyes if you touch them – even after you’ve washed your hands. I’ve even experienced this with jalapenos, so the milder of the hot peppers, and the burn is terrible (and I had even washed my hands several times before handling my contact lenses).
Isn’t summer just dreamy? Warm sunshine, beach days, picnics at the park, scenic hikes, and food like this! And have I said yet that I love mango season? Because I really love when good fresh mangos are in season! And I want to eat them on everything which I why they’re even going in my dinner a lot lately. They were made for this jerk chicken!
- 1 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 8 green onions, roots trimmed, chopped into thirds (or sub. 1/2 medium red onion)
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed, chopped into thirds*
- 1-inch knob ginger peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grill
- 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- If using chicken breasts pound thicker parts with the flat side of a meat mallet to even out their thickness (thighs don't need to be pounded). Place chicken breasts in a gallon size resealable bag. Add remaining marinade ingredients to a food processor and plus several times to chop (it should be somewhat coarse). Pour marinade over chicken in bag and rub marinade over chicken. Seal bag, transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
- Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 400 degrees. Brush grill grates with oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until center of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 4 - 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, cover to keep warm and let rest 5 minutes. Serve warm over Coconut Rice and top with Mango Avocado Salsa.
- *If you like really hot spicy things a seeded scotch bonnet or habanero pepper can be used. Just be sure to use gloves when handling peppers.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy