jerk chicken skewers

Jerk Chicken Skewers with Sweet Plantains, Yellow Rice & Black Beans

Caribbean jerk seasoning adds heat and spice to the grilled chicken. The chicken skewers are served over a bed of fragrant rice, beans and plantains for a complete dinner. Often plantains can be prepared and served overly sweet but this version uses black plantains and combines a little brown sugar with honey and green onions for a salty/ sweet combination. As you are cooking them be sure to keep an eye on the heat, plantains have a high sugar content and can burn easily – low and slow is the way to go.

To boost the flavor even more let the chicken marinate over night.



For the jerk chicken skewers:

2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1½ teaspoon molasses

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper


For the yellow rice:

1½ cups long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup diced yellow onion

¼ teaspoon annatto powder

¼ teaspoon paprika

3 cups chicken stock

½ teaspoon kosher salt


For the sweet plantains:

2 medium, ripe black plantains

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 (packed) tablespoons dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons honey

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions


1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained and heated

Lime wedges, for serving


8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes



For the jerk chicken skewers:

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add the cubed chicken to a medium mixing bowl and toss with the apple cider vinegar and molasses. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the light brown sugar, allspice, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken and toss until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Thread the chicken onto the soaked bamboo skewers, about 5 cubes of chicken per skewer. Grill the chicken skewers until completely cooked through and lightly charred on the outside, about 10 minutes, rotating occasionally.


For the yellow rice:

Rinse the rice and drain. Set aside. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the annatto powder and paprika, stirring to combine. Add the rice and chicken stock to the pan, bringing the mixture to a boil. Simmer until the rice is tender and the chicken stock is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt.


For the sweet plantains:

To peel the plantains cut off the ends and discard. Make two shallow slits in the skin of the plantain and peel the skin away like a banana. Cut the plantains into ¼-inch pieces on a bias.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the plantains and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Gently mix in the brown sugar, honey and green onions. Remove from heat and set aside.


For serving:  

Divide rice and beans among plates and top with plantains and two skewers of the jerk chicken. Serve with lime wedges on the side.


Serves 4.



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