Psychedelicatessen: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Psychedelicatessen: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

You’re definitely going to get invited to a lot more parties if you show up with a platter of herb-boosted jerk chicken. Is there any dish at all better for an outdoor summer gathering? I think not. The smell of spicy jerk chicken grilling away stokes the appetite like no other (even if you don’t eat meat!).

I make sure to buy chicken that was raised in humane and healthy conditions so I can feel good about what I am giving my guests to put into their bodies. You can also grill up some jerk vegetables or serve plain vegetables with the extra barbecue sauce for your vegetarian friends.

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Tamarind Barbecue Sauce

Serves four (5 mg THC per serving), with leftover barbecue sauce.

Jerk Chicken Ingredients:

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 tbsp. canna oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. jerk seasoning
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 organic chicken drumsticks

Tamarind Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:

2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium red onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup tomato paste
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes (with juices)
3 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. dark-brown sugar
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, roughly chopped


  1. Marinate the chicken: Whisk the oil, canna oil, garlic, salt and jerk seasoning together in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and turn to coat evenly with the mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least eight hours or overnight.
  2. Make the tamarind barbecue sauce: Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, two to three minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic, ginger, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, then cook, stirring, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until the paste darkens, about two minutes, then deglaze the pan with ½ cup of water, stirring and scraping any browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tamarind concentrate, mustard, honey, molasses and brown sugar. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the barbecue sauce to a blender. Carefully pulse once or twice to let off some steam, then blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces a little and thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce into a small bowl (refrigerate the rest of the barbecue sauce for up to two weeks, or freeze 1-cup portions in resealable freezer bags for up to six months).
  4. Make a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Grease the grill’s grates using grilling tongs and a paper towel dipped in oil. Set the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook until lightly charred on both sides, 12 to 16 minutes total. Brush the chicken on both sides with the sauce and continue to cook, turning and basting often, until the chicken is cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160°F, about eight minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Note: Since the chicken probably won’t absorb all of the THC from the canna oil in the marinade, I use 1 tablespoon of the oil for four servings instead of 2 teaspoons. If you like, add some canna oil to the leftover barbecue sauce (2 teaspoons for four servings) and serve it alongside the chicken for dipping.

Reprinted from Cooking With Herb by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Cedella Marley.


Cooking With Herb presents cannabis cuisine with authentic Jamaican flair, including classic dishes like this jerk-chicken recipe, as well as spicy patties, salt fish, mango salads and other fresh, healthy fare enjoyed by the Marley family. Helpful instructions make it easy to dose your dishes with THC, so all you have to do is sit back and get irie!

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