Great, authentic jerk chicken is all about letting the herbs and spices work their magic on fresh meat, then expertly smoking and grilling it to tender, juicy perfection. This version is much more forgiving. It borrows the powerfully delicious flavor of jerk and adds it to a luscious bath of coconut milk to revive our bird after a long, cold winter in the freezer with some much-needed moisture, flavor and a little island heat. I love to pair this with coconut rice or coconut cauliflower rice for a lighter option!
Technique tips: The main trick here is to allow the aromatic broth to rehydrate and flavor the frozen chicken back to life.
- 8 frozen chicken thighs, thawed
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or other hot fresh or dried pepper (optional)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Lime wedges and freshly torn mint and/or cilantro to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.2.
Combine everything but the chicken thighs in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Place chicken in a baking dish (spread across 2 if needed), and cover in the coconut milk blend, tossing to combine.3.
Roast chicken in the oven, periodically spooning some of the coconut milk blend over each piece, until meat is cooked and tender, 60-75 minutes.4.
To plate, divide chicken and serve with hot sauce and a lime wedge if desired, garnished with freshly torn mint or cilantro.