Jerk chicken is grilled chicken, marinated in a spicy sauce that is traditionally served in Jamaica.
The poultry is seasoned with a jerk sauce or marinade that has allspice, chiles, cinnamon, garlic, thyme, onion, soy sauce, nutmeg, lime juice, olive oil, and brown sugar. Since this sauce cooks quickly and easily on the grill, the chicken is gradually cooked to let the flavors of the sauce seep into meat and retain moisture.
What is “Jerk” Cooking?
Jerk refers to a process where meat, vegetables, or fruits are seasoned and prepared. This technique comes from Jamaica.
The common cooking style uses a marinade or paste that incorporates pimento (often called allspice) and scotch bonnet peppers or habanero. The meat is then marinated and slow-smoked over a piece of pimento wood.
What Does the Word “Jerk” Come From?
According to most food historians, like Alan Davidson, and John Mariani, jerk came from a Spanish word charqui that has its Peruvian origin. It meant dried strips of meat, much like how we describe a jerky.
The word originated as a noun and then matured into a verb. as in “Jerking,” which means poking holes in the meat so the spices could penetrate.
Jerk cooking experts, like the native Jamaican and author Helen Willinsky of “Jerk from Jamaica,” states that the term jerk could also come from the process of marinating a strip of roasted or barbecued meat.
When Did This Style of Cooking Began?
Most historians acknowledge Jamaica was established by the Arawak Indians over 2,500 years ago.. They used similar procedures to smoke and dry meat in the sun or over a slow fire, which were well-known in Peru.
This was essential, as the dried beef could be taken on adventures and eaten as is or chopped and reconstituted in boiling water. This ancient method goes on today and is recognized as jerky.
In 1492, Columbus claimed it for Spain and controlled the Arawak Indians. Soon they died and were substituted by African slaves. In the 1700s some of the slaves fled and hid in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and became identified as Maroons.
They had to keep watch firmly to avoid the British army from being recaptured. With food in low supply, they learned to catch wild boars in the forest. Using salt, pepper, and spices, they learned to store the meat. That’s because they have no idea when their next kill would be.
When it came time to cook the meat, they just set it all in with hot rocks then cover and barbecue it over a frame of wood.
The Modern Authentic Jerk Cooking Today
Jerk “huts” are scattered all over the Caribbean Islands, and you can surely find them by the lovely smell it produces.
Many times they are sheds that are octagonal or circular made around a telephone pole to hold the thatched roof. Dining and cooking are done outside.
These days, there are loads of Jamaica vacation deals online for the enthusiastic Jerk lover. Thus, it is now more affordable than ever to catch a trip to the islands and encounter the local flavor of authentic Jamaican Jerk.
What is “Pot Noodle”?
Pot Noodle is a brand of instant noodle. It comes in different flavors, and one of them is Jerk Chicken.
This dehydrated food is comprised of wide noodles, mixed dried vegetables, and flavoring powder. It is cooked by adding boiling water, which after two to three minutes softens the noodles and diffuses the powdered sauce. The product is packed in a plastic pot, from which the cooked noodles can also be eaten.
History of Pot Noodle
The pot noodle is like the savior of student hangovers and the hunger shield that defends the starving with limited budget.
Pot Noodle was first created in Crumlin, South Wales in 1979, giving the nation a cheap option for sandwiches. The year 1992 marked the introduction of the infamous sauce sachets, expressing a world of unique flavors that could be explored including the infamous Jerk Chicken!
By 1995, the world of Pot Noodle expanded. Around 300,000 Pot Noodles were being munched on every week. And in 2000, Unilever bought Pot Noodle, paving the way for the King-size Pot Noodle.
Production of Pot Noodle
The public understanding of the product was that it was of low quality and only eaten as an effect of laziness or poverty. Around 2006, Pot Noodle’s recipe was developed to make the product healthier. This mostly included cutting down on the quantity of salt in the product. A “GTi” alternative, cooked in a microwave instead of adding boiling water, was launched at the end of the 2000s and was the first Pot Noodle to include real meat.
All non-GTi pot noodles are fit for vegetarians, but not for vegans.
The first thing to learn about Pot Noodle (and especially any snack that you “just supplement water to”) is that the nutritional data can be horribly unclear and easily shaped.
Usually, the figures on the pot are so complex that most of us just don’t bother to work our way through them. In this type of snack the significant figures are not the per 100g ‘as prepared’ values but the ‘per pot’ figures/ That’s because it gives a big picture of what you are eating.
Before hydration, the dry element in a pot noodle weighs just below 100g. When you add water, you are hydrating but also reducing the contents and nutritional benefits contained in that dry material.
Any Related Products
Golden Wonder launched a similar convenience food “Pot Rice” in the early 1980s. It was produced from dehydrated rice, wheat protein, vegetables, and flavorings, and it is sold in a plastic pot.
Pot Rice was later produced by Unilever and Knorr when the Pot Noodle brand went through a string of acquisitions and takeovers in the 1990s. The flavors that were added were “Chicken Risotto”, “Chicken Curry”, “Beef and Tomato”, “Beef chili”, and “Cod and parsley”.
“Pot Mash” was a related branded mashed potato snack, marketed by the makers of Pot Noodle in the UK and Ireland in the late 1990s.
“Pot Casserole,” which is composed of dried vegetables and soy protein, was introduced during the 1980s. However, it was discontinued before the turn of the century.
“Pot Pasta” and “Pot Spaghetti” combined dried pasta bits with a packet of parmesan cheese and were sold for some time in the 1990s. “Pot Sweet” was a dessert range available in four varieties, launched in the mid-1980s but discontinued shortly afterwards.
And in 2019, Pot Noodle launched its very own Jerk Chicken Flavor along with its rival, the Thai Green Curry.
The Jerk Chicken Flavored Pot Noodle
Having jerk chicken flavored pot noodles is great. So spice up your cravings, unfold your wings, discover your sizzle, and let your soul rise!
Filling the needs of Noodlers has always been Pot Noodle’s number one priority. That’s because it allows busy people to experience the flavor of the Jamaican Jerk Chicken in an instant. All you need is boiling water and a few stir to take your taste buds on a journey through the Caribbean Islands.
First, rip the lid half-open, whip out the sachet of seasoning, then add boiling water to fill the level. Close it with the lid then leave for 2 minutes to cook. Next, stir the noodles. Then leave it closed for another 2 minutes.
Stir again then add the contents for that extra flavor! Lastly, take a fork and dive in. (Best consumed while hot).
The first thing that will strike you about the sauce is the taste of allspice. It is an attempt to conjure up the flavor of a jerk. It has a little bit of flame to it but somewhat lacking. The sauce is also flour-based, so it has a pasty character to it.
The noodles are somewhat chewy but also thick and crisp. So much so that it’ll remind you of Cup Noodle noodles, but much bigger. They are incomparable to Asian instant noodles; and presumably not that appealing to people who have not grown up with them.
The Pot Noodle brand has been linked in some controversial advertising campaigns.
In August 2002, a list of television adverts that defined Pot Noodle as “the slag of all snacks” was withdrawn after criticisms to the Independent Television Commission. The associated poster campaign, spinning around the “Hot Noodle” range with a tagline of “hurt me, you slag,” was removed by Unilever. This is after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld charges that “the pitch could be described as overlooking violence”.
In May 2005, the Advertising Standards Authority acquired 620 complaints about a series of advertisements starring a man with a large brass horn in his trousers and a provocative slogan “Have you got the Pot Noodle horn?”. Some of the objections described them as “tasteless and offensive”.
The three advertisements had been already established for restricted times, originally after the 9:00 pm watershed. The ASA did not uphold the charges. Although saying that the campaign was “a little crude,” they pointed out that it is harmless and “the timing constraint was appropriate.”
As any sports enthusiast will tell you, the best defense is offense. This explains why Pot Noodles was portrayed as “the slag of all snacks.”
People probably don’t require to be told that Pot Noodle isn’t food in its strict sense. But aside from an aggressive, hardly tasteless, advertising campaign, how much do you know about what goes into a Pot Noodle?