This island inspired Jamaican Jerk Chicken combines perfectly with grilled pineapple salsa and cilantro lime rice for a healthy and tasty dinner.
This recipe (although, not truly authentic) was inspired by my recent trip to Jamaica for the marriage of my brother and my now sister-in-law. Such a beautiful wedding, overlooking the ocean, watching my brother tear up as his beautiful bride walked down the isle. Congrats my little love birds!
But enough about them, lets talk FOOD. Although, I must say, I have plans to put together a post on our awesome stay at Sandals Ochi in Ocho Rios. To be honest, I was a little skeptical about an all-inclusive resort (usually not my style), but it was soo much fun, and I have to give lots of credit to the playmakers (aka entertainers)! Ahh can you tell I miss Jamaica? Alright, back on track now, here we go.
The food I had in Jamaica – and I had food, hello all-inclusive – was mouth watering. And Jamaican jerk chicken, get in my belly. So before we left the island, I grabbed some Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, Hot & Spicy. Which, yes, I know, can be bought else where, but I had never tried it before.
When we returned home, I marinated a couple chicken breasts in this seasoning overnight, and the next day, I grilled them to perfection (braving the Minnesota winter) and served it with some cilantro lime rice and grilled pineapple salsa. Mmhmmm. Perfect combo of spicy and sweet, that was until I topped it off with some scotch bonnet hot sauce that I also picked up in Jamaica, and HOT DAMN. The hot sauce did me in. Even my Fiancé (John) who LOVES spicy food, I mean really loves it, orders the blazin’ wings at BWW just for fun kind of spicy, thought it was hot.
This actually leads me to another quick story I must share. So, my fiancé and I are both from Minnesota where most people think a little Tabasco sauce is too much to handle, so when we were in Jamaica, and John told our sever to make his Jamaican jerk pasta as spicy as possible, both her and I were little concerned. And guess what, Jamaican spicy trumps Minnesotan spicy. With a little sweat and a lot of b*tching, he got through it with a smile because he is nuts and enjoys pain.
About Walkerswood, this stuff is tasty and adds just the right kick to the chicken. But, if you don’t have Walkerwood and don’t want to hunt it down, I’ve shared a link in the notes of the recipe below to an quick and easy jerk seasoning recipe that combines spices you’re likely to already have in your kitchen. So, grill away my friends! And speak of grilling, you know what goes damn well with grilling on summer days? My recipe for Sparkling Jalapeño Grapefruit Margaritas that are a little sweet, a little spicy and perfectly refreshing!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 ounces Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Hot & Spicy*
- 4 servings rice
- ½ pineapple trimmed and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and quartered
- ½ red onion peeled and quartered
- 2 jalapenos whole
- 1 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Rub chicken in jerk seasoning and marinade refrigerated in airtight container for 2 hours to overnight. Preheat grill on medium-high and cook chicken on direct heat until well browned, about 5-6 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- To make the pineapple salsa, skewer the red onion. Lightly coat onion, pepper, and jalapenos in olive oil. Grill pineapple and vegetables on medium-high heat until vegetables are tender and both vegetables and pineapple are lightly charred, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Cook rice according to directions. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, ½ cup cilantro and salt to the rice as it cooks.
- Once cool, chop pineapple (cut out core) and vegetables. Deseed jalapeno and dice. Place chopped pineapple and vegetables in medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon lime juice, ½ cup cilantro, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- To serve, place rice in bowl and top with chicken breast and pineapple salsa. If desired, serve with additional chopped cilantro, jalapeno slices, and lime wedges.