Creating Jerk Chicken was a bloody nightmare and that has nothing to do with the recipe. I only had one night free this week to cook and it happened to be the same night that my wife had her mobile hairdresser round. You would imagine that this would be a result, as they could tuck themselves away somewhere and let me get on with it, but the reality was far more annoying. Instead they decided that the best light in the house was in the kitchen and that is where they would be based – no discussion. We have a galley kitchen so, if you will, picture a galley kitchen with a wife on a seat in the middle of it and a hairdresser behind her (with all her bleaches and crap all over the place). Now picture me, with a meal to cook and imagine my face – am I smiling? I was, but probably due to the fumes from the hair and the large gin I nailed when I realised what my cooking environment for the night was to be!
I had looked forward to drawing Jamaica since the very beginning as I absolutely love Jerk Chicken but had no clue how to make the complex marinade. I decided that I wouldn’t find out until I got to Jamaica and crossed everything that it wasn’t one of the last countries drawn in a few years! When I was at Uni in Bradford all those years ago there was a guy who used to park up at the end of our road and sell Jerk Chicken in Aluminium Trays from his boot. In retrospect (and being more cynical in my advanced years) I feel a little sick at the thought of eating out of a strangers boot, but at the time it was very normal – and very delicious. I think he charged about £1.50 and you got a lot of chicken. I would imagine he bought the out of date chicken from the local Bangladeshi Restaurants, but it never made me ill, although that was probably as my stomach was pickled with cheap student booze. I loved the roar of the spice as you first bit into the chicken and then the sweet undertones which cooled you down. Continue reading