Tuesday 20 March 2018


Donal Skehan

If you've never had jerk chicken before and was wondering what all the fuss is about, well, you are in for a treat. The spicy and earthy marinade produces the most delicious tender chicken you will ever have. Served with a cooling and sweet mango salsa, this is one of my ultimate summer dishes. Serves four to six.

you will need

2 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

Grated zest and juice of 3 limes

4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3 tsps allspice

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp dried oregano

6 thyme sprigs

2 tbsps honey

6 tbsps tomato ketchup

1 chicken (approx. 1.2kg), cut into portions (breasts, wings and legs) For the mango salsa 2 mangos, peeled, stones removed and roughly chopped in chunks

½ cucumber, centre scooped out and cut into cubes

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsps olive oil

Sea salt and ground black pepper

Good handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped


To marinate the chicken, place all the ingredients apart from the chicken in a large resealable bag and mix together. Next add the chicken, seal the bag and shake until coated. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours or overnight if you have the time.

Combine all the ingredients for the salsa, except the coriander, in a mixing bowl and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix through the coriander when you're ready to serve.

Remove chicken from fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook. Heat barbecue to a medium-high heat and cook chicken pieces for 15 minutes, turning only once during the cooking time, until the meat is cooked through.

The different pieces will take slightly different cooking times, so a good way to check if they are cooked is to insert a meat thermometer at the thickest part and check that it registers 82°C/180°F for drumsticks and thighs and 76°C/169°F for breasts. Serve the chicken with mango salsa and lime wedges and coriander sprigs, if you like.

Irish Independent

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