Gingergirl: ‘Add a little Jamaican heat this winter’

This jerk chicken is the perfect way to spice up any cold winters night
Hello and welcome to all about food. This week we’re spicing things up a little. This week’s recipe makes a welcome change to soups and stews. Enjoy!

Hello and welcome to all about food. This week we’re spicing things up a little. This week’s recipe makes a welcome change to soups and stews. Enjoy!

Ask gingergirl

Dear gingergirl,

I’m a keen cook and I love making healthy and interesting meals for my family. However, I feel like I’ve become stuck in a rut! While I make a lot of pasta sauces, stews, casseroles I feel like there’s a whole world of herbs and spices that I’m not exploring. Have you any suggestions for a spicy recipe that’s a little bit different?

Many thanks,

Gemma, Ennis

Hi Gemma,

The best thing to do is just get stuck in and you’ll quickly realise what flavours you love and what ones appeal less to you. A favourite of mine is Jerk chicken with a mango salsa and rice. Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients – I know it seems very long but really once you have the spices in your cupboard you’ll find yourself reaching for them again and again I promise!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

1 tbsp of ground allspice

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ tsp dried sage

¾ tsp ground nutmeg

¾ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar

1 chilli (I leave the seeds in as Jerk is all about the kick but deseeded is fine too)

3 scallions

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

60 mls of olive oil

60 mls of soy sauce

180 mls of white vinegar

120 mls of orange juice

Juice of 2 limes

8-10 free range chicken thighs (allow two chicken thighs per person)

The easiest way to make the Jerk paste is to use a food processor or a stick/hand blender. Don’t panic if you don’t have either of these it’ll just mean you’ll have to work a little harder and finely dice all the ingredients! There is no set way to mix the ingredients – it’s really just a case of throwing it all together and blending until relatively smooth. I find the easiest way to marinade the chicken is to score each thigh a few times before putting it in a large bowl and pouring the paste on top. The longer you can leave the paste the better – anything up to a few hours will be perfect. To cook off the chicken place it in a roasting dish and into a pre heated oven (200ºc) for 30-40 minutes. Don’t pour all the marinade over the chicken in the roasting tin if you don’t need it – the chicken should be generously coated but the base of the roasting tin should not!

I like to serve this with a simple mango salsa and boiled basmati rice. The chutney is simple – dice a mango and mix with a deseeded and finely chopped chilli, the juice of a lime (or two) and a bunch of chopped coriander!

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

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