This will not stand. Between these abysmal proposed budget cuts and inconceivable LHHATL Kirk Frost drama, we’ve had about all we could take this month. But this? This, we can’t stomach at all—literally.
Recently a recipe for “Caribbean Jerk Style Chicken” started making its way around Twitter. The recipe, posted by the Celiac Disease Foundation back in 2016, not only labels the dish as “jerk style” but goes as far as to call this bastardized version a “chicken entree with zesty Caribbean flavor.”
Now we get that sufferers of Celiac Disease have extreme intolerances to gluten, and those individuals might be extra cautious as to what they eat. But last I checked, authentic jerk chicken was already gluten-free, so no substitutions needed to be made. And, what’s with the addition of bananas, pineapple juice, raisins and honey mustard (lawd a mercy)?
Of course Black Twitter caught wind of the atrocity and hilarity ensued.
— Shauna James (@QueenShaShaa_) March 20, 2017
— lust god (@Marie4Mayor) March 17, 2017
— JO (@jodietweets_) March 17, 2017
“Honey mustard, are you serious?” questions Shawn Bender, who runs a Caribbean catering and meal prep service in Atlanta. “There are some qualifying ingredients that make jerk really jerk. And these are not present in this recipe.”
The Jamaican-born Bender, along with every other human being who has ever had the pleasure of tasting real, ungentrified, unappropriated jerk chicken, also expressed puzzlement with the bananas and raisins haphazardly sprinkled on the plate like #SaltBae had a run in with my toddler’s lunch bag.
“The recipe looks like something from my son’s cookbook,” Bender scoffs. True. So why would anyone over the age of 7 do this to jerk chicken?
Is this in the same vein as those $66 Neiman Marcus collard greens with the bacon? Or is it more like how chitlins were a downhome Sunday staple, but now they’re on fancy menus labeled as offal fritters and dressed in a balsamic raspberry puree?
When we’re talking genuine Jamaica-bred jerk chicken, we’re talking “big man tings.” And that means we’re talking real spice—and definitely not raisins.
“For true jerk chicken,” Bender says, “you must have crushed pimento seeds (allspice) and the no brainer—scotch bonnet peppers.”
So try again. Let’s pretend this never happened. And check out Bender’s recipe for the real thing below.
Mr. B’s Jerk Chicken
3 tablespoons of dried pimento seeds (allspice), crushed
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
6-8 small scalllions (white and green parts)
1 1/2 large white onion
2 scotch bonnet peppers (stems removed)
1 bell pepper
7-10 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of gravy master browning sauce
6 pounds of chicken leg quarters (skin on)
Combine first seven ingredients in an electric blender. Pulse for 45 seconds (or as needed to produce a smooth puree).
Place the chicken quarters in a large bowl, coat evenly with marinade and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill for high heat. Cook chicken for 10-12 minutes, then flip. Grill for 6-7 minutes on the other side. Grill until meat is well done or to your desired texture.