Suzanne Barr Jerk Chicken

Photography Courtesy of Gladstone Hote

Recipe: Suzanne Barr’s Jerk Chicken

The activist chef tells us how to make her go-to Jamaican comfort food dish

C o-executive chef at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Barr makes this jerk chicken recipe anytime she wants a comfort-food link back to her Jamaican roots. Scotch bonnets give it the fire, while allspice adds the pungent sweet-spiced edge that jerk dishes are known for. Serve it with roasted pineapple, warm cocobread or crispy festival, or on top of mango coleslaw.

Makes 4 servings

Jerk Sauce

4 Scotch bonnet peppers, charred (see tip, below)

4 bunches green onions, charred

1/3 cup ground allspice

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp lime juice

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a blender, combine Scotch bonnet peppers, green onions, allspice, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon and lime juice. Purée on high speed, stopping and scraping down side to ensure the mixture is blended. With motor running, slowly add oil until well combined. Pour jerk sauce into an airtight container and set aside.

Gladstone Hotel co-executive chef Suzanne Barr makes this recipe anytime she wants a comfort-food link back to her Jamaican roots.

Jerk Chicken

1 lb whole chicken legs (thighs attached) or 2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (each 6 to 8 oz )

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

In a large bowl, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add jerk sauce and stir to coat. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight. Grill, roast or bake according to your favourite method for chicken.

Tip: To char Scotch bonnet peppers and green onions, use a long pair of kitchen tongs and hold them over an open flame on the stovetop. (Don’t bother seeding the peppers first.) Keep turning until blackened all over. Set aside until ready to use. Don’t have a gas burner? Broil or grill instead.


Watch our interview with Suzanne!