Savour the flavours of the Caribbean Islands with these Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts, grilled, baked in the oven or cooked in an Instant Pot.
Sand between your toes, warm sunshine, ocean breezes, reggae and stunning sunsets: Caribbean life seems idyllic! And when you add fiery jerk seasoning spices to juicy chicken in these Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts, you’ll have it all– an island-style meal that will likely become a regular in your meal rotations.
This is a simple two-step recipe for Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts
Whir the marinade ingredients in a blender and pour over the chicken breasts into a large ziplock bag. Marinate for a few hours, then remove and grill, bake in the oven, or cook in an Instant Pot! This easy recipe makes a fragrant, tasty Jamaican meal for any time of year.
This blend of jerk spices features boldly spiced Caribbean flavours, but it’s easy to customize the heat level to your family’s tastes.
What is in jerk seasoning?
While you can buy jerk seasoning mix pre-made at any supermarket, it’s very easy to make yourself, and you probably have all the items in your spice drawer already.
This recipe makes a Jamaican-style jerk marinade. It has a kick from a blend of spices and herbs including fennel, allspice, cayenne, thyme, garlic and ginger.
When you add a little saltiness from soy sauce, sweetness from honey and coconut sugar, heat from a chili pepper, and acid from citrus juices, you’ve made an amazing, perfectly balanced marinade that tastes like it’s direct from the islands.
What type of chili pepper is in Caribbean Jerk Chicken?
Jerk Chicken is authentically made with a Scotch bonnet pepper. If you can’t find one, a Habanero is the closest substitute. If Habanero peppers are too hot for your tastes, substitute a jalapeño.
But whatever chili pepper you use, remember to wear thin rubber gloves.
Capsaicin and related compounds called capsaicinoids are the substances that give chili peppers their heat. They cause a burning sensation on soft tissues, so avoid touching your eyes. If you don’t have gloves to protect your hands, handle the peppers as little as possible and wash your hands thoroughly in soapy water immediately after cutting them.
What should I serve with these Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts?
Go authentic and serve them with rice and beans, perhaps with some fried plantains on the side. I like them with a cool refreshing salad or with a crunchy coleslaw. Serve them whole, sliced thinly or shredded to add to tacos or to this Caribbean Shredded Jerk Chicken Salad.
When you cook chicken in an Instant Pot or slow cooker, it’s easy to shred with two forks, but even easier with an electric mixer!
This is a simple two-step recipe. Whir the marinade ingredients in a blender and pour over the chicken breasts into a large ziplock bag. Marinate for a few hours, then remove and grill, bake in the oven, or cook in an Instant Pot! This easy recipe makes a fragrant, tasty Jamaican meal for any time of year.
Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper, Habanero pepper or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce (or coconut aminos )
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green onions (scallions) chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed
- 4 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
Put Habanero, soy sauce, honey, coconut sugar, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, allspice, thyme, ginger, garlic and green onions in a blender and blend until smooth. Add apple cider vinegar, lime juice and orange juice and continue to blend until well combined.
- Put chicken breasts in a ziplock bag or marinating dish, pour marinade over, seal the bag or dish and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or longer).
Instant Pot Directions
- Pour marinade from ziplock bag into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Set the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot on top of the marinade and position chicken breasts on it. Close the lid, lock and seal it and set the cook time manually for 8 - 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. When cooking time is up, use the quick release to release the pressure. Remove the chicken breasts and shred. Moisten with some of the pan juices.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Remove chicken breasts from the marinade and place in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake at 375°F. for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pour marinade into a small saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat until reduced by one-third. Spoon reduced marinade over chicken breasts and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
- Heat grill and grease grates. Remove chicken breasts from marinade, pour marinade into a small saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat until reduced by one-third. Grill chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side or more, depending on their thickness, basting frequently with the marinade. Cook until chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Kitchen Items I used to make this recipe:
This recipe was adapted from Sunny Anderson’s Caribbean Chicken Wings
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