Jerk chicken is a Caribbean classic, hailing all the way from Jamaica. It's now thankfully found its way over to our shores and we're kind of obsessed with it. Sadly, the chickens weren't able to pack little bags and bring the weather over with them too, but the food will do just nicely! Restaurants up and down the country are paying homage to the spicy stuff and we can't get enough. It's thought that African meat cooking methods were developed upon in Jamaica to create the dish that we know and love today - infused with the flavours of garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, vinegar, ginger, herbs and more to make the ultimate taste combination. The best part? Unlike other styles of making chicken - such as American fried chicken - it's actually pretty healthy as well. Here's why!
1. It works on a low carb diet
If you're trying to cut down on those carbs to lighten up or change shape, chicken is a perfect solution for you. Since jerk chicken works so well alongside a simple salad, you don't even need to order much else on the side (chips optional...). The salad at Mamma's Jerk Station in Brixton is perfect if carb-cutting is your thing. The Jerk BBQ Chicken Salad is incredible, comprising of succulent jerk chicken, fresh salad leaves, coconut, sweetcorn and tropical mayo, there's nothing bland about it but it's still by the (diet) book.
2. 'Jerking' your meat could have health benefits
When we grill meats, we're always at a slightly increased risk of developing nasty illnesses like cancer. This is because high heats often cause chemicals to come out that we wouldn't ordinarily be exposed to. One way to combat this is by marinating the meats first - which is exactly what they do with jerk chicken! Ordering Original Jerk Chicken from Jerk Island in Southend is a great choice, because the meat is marinated for a full 24 hours prior to cooking. Fresh chicken goes into their special secret blend of herbs and spices, allowing it to then be grilled to perfection.
3. It goes with the good stuff
When you're trying to be healthy, resisting the treats can be difficult - but thankfully, there are plenty of awesome alternatives out there so your efforts won't feel like a "diet" at all. One great example is opting for a wrap instead of a burger - you still get a delicious filling, but wraps are often way more on the healthy side. Jerk chicken was made for them, as Wrap It Up! in Manchester will help you see. Their Jamaican Jerk wrap packs quite the punch, so you won't feel as though you're missing out.
4. It's super spicy
Without being overbearing, jerk chicken manages to capture all the best elements of spicy food. That's good news because, apparently, cultures with spicier foods have the lowest incidents of heart attacks and strokes. Sign us up! Ordering from Bailey's Caribbean Cuisine in Birmingham is not only a tasty choice, it's one that could also save your life! Their Jerk Chicken comes in three portion sizes, so if you go with the smaller one (to help with portion control), you're onto a real winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Like what you've read? You'll love what you taste - just check out our chicken selection on Deliveroo