Traditional jerk chicken is a thing of beauty. Slowly smoked with a melange of spices, the whole, skin-on bird emerges tender, juicy and just spicy enough to keep you coming back for more.
Doing it properly, of course, is a weekend endeavor (unless you are lucky enough to live near one of the excellent in-town jerk chicken restaurants). Still, there are ways to make a very good jerk chicken dinner, with a side of plantains no less, all within our 5:30 Challenge parameters.
First, you’ll need a quality jerk spice blend. These are widely available online as well as at Atlanta Kroger locations. Island Joe’s makes a particularly good one, but choose what tastes good to you — this is the primary seasoning in the dish after all. Next, mix the spice blend with lime juice and olive oil, and use this to generously coat boneless chicken. For this recipe, we’re using breast cutlets. Cook it in a hot oven, and then broil the top for a bit of color.
While the chicken cooks, you have plenty of time to pan-fry ripe plantains. Slice them relatively thin so they cook quickly, and make sure to get them deeply golden brown. A dusting of salt, a squeeze of lime, and a little extra jerk seasoning takes them into can’t-stop-eating territory.
All you need to finish the dish is a few lime wedges around the plate and a bottle of hot sauce if your tablemates crave more heat. Even with these shortcuts, it’s still beautiful.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.