Jerk chicken is a spicy grilled meat dish commonly linked with Jamaica but popular throughout the Caribbean.
Jerk belongs to a technique of cooking in which the main ingredient (often chicken, but you can also use any meat, seafood, or vegetable) is covered in spices and slow-cooked over a fire or grill. The grill is traditionally made of green pimento wood placed over burning coals and the resulting haze is core to the flavor of the dish.
The popular dish had its roots with the Taino, who improved the jerk technique and later taught it to African slaves. The Africans then modified it in formulating jerk chicken.
The word jerk reportedly originates from the Spanish charqui, meaning dried strips of meat, pretty similar to the modern-day jerky.
In Jamaica, jerk chicken is renowned for its pungent marinade, marked by allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. Holes are normally poked into the meat to allow the marinade to spread. Typical side dishes involve rice, beans, plantains, sweet potatoes, and small cornbread fritters.
Fusing Jerk Chicken and Salad
Bring your typical chicken salad up a notch with these Jerk Chicken Salad Recipes! Roasted red peppers, Jamaican jerk seasoning, and your usual chicken salad become a flavorful meal.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
- 90 Grams of Cooked Chicken Breast, Cubed Or Shredded
- 15 Grams of Light Mayo
- 15 Grams 2% Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Lime, Juiced
- 8 Grams of Jerk Chicken Marinade
- 30 Grams of diced fresh pineapple
- 30 Grams of diced fire-roasted red peppers
- 5 Grams of thinly sliced green onion
- A small handful of arugula, if desired
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss until fully incorporated. Set the seasoning to your taste and serve on fresh bread, in a wrap, or over salad greens.
A liquid marinade produces a more flavorful sauce, but if you are not able to find a jerk chicken marinade, then try to look for a jerk chicken spice blend. Also, jerk marinades can be deceptively spicy, so give it a taste before you dump everything into the bowl.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad by A Spicy Perspective
Ingredients for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- 2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 2-4 seeded habanero peppers
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
For the Salad:
- 2 heads of chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 large seeded red bell peppers, cut into rings
- 2 slices of peeled ripe avocados
- 1 slice of English cucumber
- 1/2 ripe pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1 bottle of Newman’s Own Honey Mustard Lite Dressing
- For the Jamaican Jerk Chicken: Put all the ingredients, except the chicken, in the food processor and puree until smooth. If you don’t like it to be spicier, use only 1-2 habanero peppers.
- Transfer the marinade into a large zip bag and add the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for at least one hour or overnight.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Once hot, take out the chicken from the marinade and put it on the grill.
- Grill each side for 5 minutes. Then let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Meanwhile, grill the red pepper rings for 1 to 2 minutes per side to soften.
Once the chicken has rested, cut it into strips. Set the romaine lettuce on a big platter, topped with grilled peppers, pineapple, cucumbers, and avocado slices. Spread the chicken pieces over the top and drizzle them with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard Lite Dressing then serve immediately.
Jerk Chicken Salad by Pampered Chef US
- 1 tablespoon of Garlic Oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of Jamaican Jerk Rub
- 1 pound of chicken tenders
- 1 medium pineapple
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 green onions (just the white and light green parts only)
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce
- 1 can(15 oz./340 g) of drained black beans
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
- 2 limes
- 1/3 cup of reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of pineapple preserves
- In a large bowl, mix the oil and jerk rub.
- Add the chicken tenders. Mix thoroughly to coat and set aside.
- Skin the pineapple and cut in half lengthwise. Keep the half for another use.
- Cut the remaining pineapple in half lengthwise and take out the core. Slice crosswise into ¼-inch (6-mm) slices.
- Heat the grill pan to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken then cook it for 3-5 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove from the pan.
- Add the pineapple to the pan then cook it for a minute on each side, turning once. Remove from pan.
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces then set it and the pineapple aside.
- Thinly slice the bell pepper and green onions. Set 12 large lettuce leaves around a platter. Chop the remaining lettuce and set vegetables aside. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
- For the dressing, zest one lime then juice both limes into a small bowl. Add the lime zest, mayonnaise, and pineapple preserves then mix well.
- Layer the chopped lettuce, beans, bell pepper, chicken, pineapple, bacon, and green onions over each lettuce leaf. Drizzle dressing over salad before serving.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad by WonkyWonderful
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, (cooked & chopped)
- 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 stalks of chopped and sliced celery
- 2 chopped fire-roasted red peppers
- 2 teaspoons of your Jamaican jerk seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste, (if needed)
- Combine all ingredients and store them in an airtight container.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad With Lime Vinaigrette
Ingredients for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
- 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup of good quality Jerk sauce, plus add some more for drizzle
- 8 cups of washed and patted dry mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup of diced fresh pineapple
- 1 diced ripe mango
- 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup of diced grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
- 1 cubed or sliced avocado
- 1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
For the Lime Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 zested and juiced limes
- 1 tsp of raw liquid honey
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp of kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp of cracked black pepper
Preparation for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
- Put the chicken thighs in a medium-sized bowl or marinating bag and drizzle with Jerk sauce. Toss to coat then set aside.
- Preheat your grill on medium-high heat or about 400º Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the mango, pineapple, tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, cubed avocado, and parsley. Toss them all into a large bowl then set aside. If you just slice the avocado, leave it aside to top the salad later.
- Once the grill is heated, put saucy chicken breasts on the grill and drizzle them with any leftover sauce. Grill it for 5-7 minutes, turn them over then grill it again for another 5-7 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165º Fahrenheit and juices run clear.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette (recipe below).
- Once the chicken is ready, slather them with more Jerk sauce then slice or cube them. Set the mixed salad greens in serving bowls, top with fruit and veggie mixture, sliced avocado, and chicken. Drizzle with your fancied amount of dressing and serve.
Preparation for the Lime Vinaigrette
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cayenne, honey, salt, and pepper together until well-incorporated.
If you’re trying to bake your chicken, preheat the oven first to 375º Fahrenheit. Transfer the saucy chicken to a baking dish and drizzle with leftover marinate. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º Fahrenheit and the juices become clear.
Caribbean Shredded Jerk Chicken Salad
- 1 large or 2 small boneless and skinless Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breast
- 3 cups of chopped green lettuce
- 1 large peeled and sectioned orange
- ½ of thinly sliced mango
- ½ of thinly sliced avocado
- ½ sliced of cucumber
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced in rings
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 minced garlic clove
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the Citrus Vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside to let the flavors blend.
- Shred the Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breast with two forks or with an electric mixer.
- Arrange the salad ingredients in bowls or on a large serving platter. Top with shredded chicken. Toss or serve with dressing on the side.
Jerk Chicken Salad by Taste
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 4 pieces of about 550grams of whole schnitzels chicken breast
- 400grams of fresh pineapple, peeled, sliced, quartered
- 2 packets of 250grams microwaved brown rice and quinoa
- 400grams of canned black beans, rinsed, drained
- Fresh coriander sprigs, for serving
- Thinly sliced red chili, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- 60ml of light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- Combine the mixed spice, thyme, cayenne, and oil in a shallow bowl or ceramic dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Set aside.
- For the dressing, dump all the ingredients in a small jug.
- Preheat a chargrill pan onto high heat. Add the pineapple and cook in batches for 2 minutes on both sides or until charred. Transfer to a plate.
- Cook the chicken in batches for 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
- Meanwhile, merge the rice mix and beans in a glass bowl then heat it in a microwave for 3 minutes or until warmed through. Add two-thirds of the dressing over the rice mixture and stir to combine.
- Break the rice mixture among bowls. Top it with sliced chicken and pineapple. Use the remaining for dressing and top it with fresh coriander and chili. Serve with lime wedges.
Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
Ingredients for Jerk Rub
- 10 chopped Scotch Bonnet chile peppers
- 1/4 cup of each fresh basil and fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup of minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 finely chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary, chopped fresh parsley, and brown mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice and white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves and grated nutmeg
- Lime juice
- 6 chicken thighs, skin removed
Ingredients for Dressing
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- Coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
- Caribbean hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Ingredients for the Salad
- 1 cup of julienned strips jicama
- 1/2 cup of julienned strips red and yellow bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 1 sliced avocado
- 1 teaspoon of grated lime peel
- Minced fresh chiles
- Minced fresh cilantro
- 1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
Preparation for the Jerk Rub
- In a food processor place the jerk rub ingredients and process to a paste, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Make several small slits in chicken and rub them all over with jerk paste. Cover tightly then refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat a barbecue grill and set the heat to low.
- Grill the chicken for about 40 minutes, turning once, until dark brown and crusty. Let cool and slice.
- Alternatively, bake the chicken at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, then broil 2 to 3 minutes until crisp.
Preparation for the Dressing
- Sprinkle a clean surface or large chopping board with coarse salt, and chop a clove or garlic or two until you achieve a paste-y consistency.
- Whisk garlic paste with lime juice and add a few drops of hot sauce to taste.
- Whisk in vegetable oil until emulsified.
Preparation for the Salad
- In a bowl, combine salad ingredients with the chicken. Pour the dressing over, toss to coat, and set on a platter lined with lettuce.
Jerk Chicken Salad with Papaya
- 3-4 red chicory (depending on the size)
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, remove all visible fat,
- 3 tsp of rapeseed oil
- 1 lime, juice of 1/2, then cut the rest into 2 wedges
- 1 tsp of jerk spice mix
- 2 tsp of fresh oregano
- 2 tsp of redcurrant jelly
- 2 tsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 papaya, halved, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, stoned, and chopped
- new potatoes, for serving (optional)
- Chicory consists of leaves connected to a pretty solid base. So, feel where the leaves begin and slice them off. Thickly slice the base then set it aside.
- Open out the chicken thighs and place them in a bowl with 1 tbsp of oil, lime juice, jerk seasoning, and oregano. Mix well
- Griddle the chicken for 10 mins, turning once.
- Remove the griddle then cover it with a plate and leave to rest while you quickly griddle the chicory slices.
- Meanwhile, place the redcurrant jelly, vinegar and remaining oil in a big bowl and mix well. Add the papaya and avocado, then the chicory leaves in the bowl, but don’t mix.
- Chop the chicken then add it to the salad with the griddled chicory before tossing well. Pile it in plates, then squeeze the remaining lime over and serve while still warm. Serve with baby potatoes, if you like.
Montego Bay Jerk Chicken Salad
- 4x4oz of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 4 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups of sliced mangos
- 1 cup of diced cucumber
- 1 cup of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of diced pineapple
- 1 1/2 cups of Jamaican Jerk Sauce
- 1 1/12 tsp of Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
* If you are pressed for time to make your seasoning, try Knorr Ready-to-Use Jamaican Jerk Sauce with McCormick Perfect Pinch Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. Another option is Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend.
- In a bowl, combine the Jerk Sauce with Caribbean Jerk Seasoning then mix them well. Reserve ½ cup.
- Toss the chicken in sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Drain and discard the excess marinade.
- OPTIONAL: To obtain the grill marks on the chicken, grill on a medium-high grill until well-marked on both sides. Then bake it at 350 ° for 5-7 minutes or until done.
- Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Slice the chicken breast and place it on lettuce. Top every plate of salad with cucumber, tomatoes, and pineapple.
- Drizzle the top with the reserved Caribbean sauce and enjoy! To give this dish a complete meal, serve with beans and rice and plantain chips!
Jerk chicken is the way of the universe to let us know that chicken doesn’t have to be boring.
Blended with fresh fruits and fire-roasted red peppers, this spicy, tangy, and sweet chicken salad will have you fantasizing about the Caribbean.
Just remember that the macros for these recipes are calculated for the chicken salad only. So if you stack it on top of some fresh bread, make sure to count those macros.