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Jamaican Chicken Waffle Sandwiches: Jerks Could Actually Be Pretty Tasty

November 29, 2018

Jamaican Chicken, also known as Jerk Chicken, is a traditional dish served in the Caribbean Islands. The chicken is first soaked in a flavorful marinade made from various herbs and spices. It is then placed directly on top of some fresh green wood (from the Pimiento Tree) to be grilled or smoked. The original marinade demands authentic Caribbean ingredients such as allspice berries, Scotch bonnet peppers (which are extreeeemely spicy), and sometimes, even wood from laurel trees.

Jamaican Chiciken Waffle Sandwich1

For our version, we used Bounty Fresh chicken thighs—which are the juiciest, most flavorful parts of the chicken—and seasoned them with some chili, allspice, and other aromatics. We added a bit of zing using calamansi and to balance the sweet and spicy flavors of this dish. It’s best eaten sandwiched in between waffles and sprinkled with kesong puti.

Jamaican Chicken Waffle Sandwich2

Though I’ve never tasted authentic Jerk Chicken, I’ve read about it and learned that the dish can be very addicting (I blame the exotic spices; who knows what sort of things those Bob Marley fans put in there). But even without the use of rare Caribbean ingredients, our Jerk Chicken Waffles were wiped out quickly. We liked them so much, that I don’t think we’re missing anything by not including the more traditional herbs and spices.

Jamaican chicken Waffle Sandwich3

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Jamaican Chicken Waffle Sandwiches

Total Time: 90 minutes / Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ kilo Bounty Fresh boneless chicken thighs, chopped to bite size pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 5 red bird’s eye chili, de-seeded
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Juice of 6 calamansi
  • 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2 medium waffles, sliced to wedges
  • Chopped kesong puti, to garnish
  • Chopped green onion, to garnish

Procedure

  1. In a mini food processor or spice grinder, place chili, leeks, garlic, allspice, and calamansi juice. Pulse to make a paste.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add chicken thighs.
  3. Rub chicken all over. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  4. Grill the chicken pieces until cooked all the way through. Toss in barbecue sauce.
  5. Place on top of waffle and sprinkle with kesong puti and green onions. Cover with another waffle wedge.
  6. Serve.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of Pepper.ph and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, Preen.ph. She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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