Let me start off with a huge disclaimer: this jerk chicken is not authentic. Just wanted to get that out in the open. I mean, it’s cooked in a crock pot and not smoked in a pit… so that’s a pretty big difference. And furthermore, traditional jerk seasoning has a lot of heat to compliment the sweet, smoky flavor of the myraid of spices [primarily allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg] that make up the jerk seasoning blend. Or at least, that’s what my cookbook said. My jerk seasoning blend has more sweetness than heat, but that departure from the norm isn’t bad… it just means you can enjoy what’s there instead of burning your mouth to bits.
Now that we have established that my version has been adapted, shall we say… let’s get on with it. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, let’s focus on what we do: this Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Rice is amazing. It’s sweet and smoky with a little bit of jalapeno-induced kick. Plus, this crock pot cooking method does not require traditional overnight marinating that most jerk chicken recipes do… meaning you can whip this up on a whim, no planning required! Though if you are thinking ahead, I bet marinating the meat would take an already fantastic dish absolutely over-the-top!
If I do say so myself though, the marinating to take things over-the-top-bit might not even be necessary. I got you covered on that over-the-topness. Instead of serving this pulled meat [almost type "slow cooked" meat... you remember how I feel about that!] on boring rice or a sandwich bun, I decided to fancify my regular white rice with some Caribbean-inspired ingredients like more allspice, crushed pineapple, black beans, and cilantro. The rice was undoubtedly my favorite part of this dinner [and the chicken Ben's, but he's a meatloving man so that's not surprising].
I mean, how fantastic does this look? Sweet, smoky, fresh, substantial rice paired with sweet-hot pulled chicken. What else would you want? If you figure it out, please do let me know because I don’t have a clue. Enjoy!
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- sprinkle salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 jalapenos, sliced [deseed if you wish--I did]
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 4 pounds cut up chicken pieces, bones and skins removed
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 3 cups liquid [drained pineapple juice + water or chicken broth]
- 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained [1 15 ounce can]
- 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple [fruit + juice]
- ~3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- pinch cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients for chicken in large crockpot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
About thirty minutes before eating, prepare rice. Drain pineapple, catching liquid in a large measuring cup or bowl. Add extra water or chicken broth to make 3 cups liquid, then add liquid and rice to a large pot set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid. Stir in black beans, reserved pineapple, allspice, and cayenne pepper. Just before serving stir in cilantro.
Serve shredded chicken over rice, or on sandwich buns.
Time: 5 hours.
Yield: alot of food!
Notes: This recipe can be halved and cooked for 3 1/2-4 hours in the crock pot. I did make the full amount of rice so if you’re cooking for a crowd, the rice may need to be doubled or tripled.