Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kent Altena's Jamaican Jerk Chicken is Awesomeful of Awesomeness

Sometimes Jerki-ness is good - when it's Caribbean Jerk, mon!

Kent's Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Pork makes
ya feel like dancin' to reggae mon!
My buddy Kent Altena and his missus attended the Low Carb Cruise to Jamaica not long ago. They returned, inspired by visions of Jamaican Jerk and reggae in the night. Kent came back a craivin’ kind of guy. Inspired by the abundance of excellent low carb cooks on board, great food and inspiration and visions of Caribbean dancing in his head, it didn’t take him long to dream up a cure for the modern Jerk jones.

Please take the time to visit Kent’s site, Atkin’s Diet Geek and read his terrific recipe – then don’t forget to mark a reminder on your calendar to make it! He has a very good video tutorial on YouTube where he demos the recipe. Don’t forget to take notes on his grilling technique! Grilling bone in chicken pieces is not an easy feat, my friend, but Kent de-mystifies the process! Way to go, Kent!

I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Caribbean cuisine. Prior to test driving this baby, I’m ashamed to admit my only run in with jerks was
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza and many former boyfriends – but I don’t think any of those encounters count! Kent made the recipe look so intriguing I just had to give it a try. I was filled with trepidation, too! Allspice and cinnamon, Kent? Really? I worried Christmas would knock my Bob Marley into next year. But I was intrigued and strangely pulled insistently to make this recipe despite reservations.

I followed the recipe – as much as my little tweakin’ heart allowed…I’m sorry Kent, I’m pathologically incapable of following a recipe, making it as written.


Yes Kent, I distinctly heard you ask me why! Well, it is due to my addlepated mentality that says, “If a little is good, then 'a lot' must certainly be better.”

Experience proves it too! I’ve tested this philosophy on many things (in my drinking days) like beer, wine, tequila (oh not a a good idea), pain killers (Russian roulette), antacids, decongestant (definitely do NOT recommend this). Now, this might not be a broad, general rule, it certainly works great and is true of the beer, wine, and antacids as well as garlic and jalapenos! Haha!

Schylling The Rasta 'Boy' approves Jerk Chicken and Pork!
This was the 'boys' latest "occupy" protest over
Chile Lime Coleslaw which conversely is NOT
sock monkey approved.
Yes, I’m a garlic and jalapeno monkey. Garlic good. Heat good. Fire good. MMmmmmmm! Our sock monkey boy, Schylling, whose roots are heavily tied to Jamaica, wondered what took me so long!?

With tiny modifications, I made like a victim of movement disorders and jerked (sorry Mom - Mama had Parkinsons and Dystonia.) Oh and one more thing! I didn’t have it in me to heeb (Texan for shopping at HEB), so I just used what I had in the deep freeze. I jerked out the chicken breasts and country style pork ribs.

Get it? Jerked out? Oh and another thing…(see why it’s not a good idea to fight with me?)…I didn’t have it in me to brine. Sorry Kent. *sniff*

The results I am happy to report? Oh myyy, hold me...

Now look, you are gonna hold off on making a buttload of this Jamaican Jerk Dry Rub until you’ve made the recipe once and know that you like the taste. Well, don’t do it! Just go ahead and double or triple this recipe! Keep it on hand! It's that good!

Low Carb Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Pork - so juicy!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Pork – FCC Modified
Please See the Kent’s Original Recipe and Technique
Serves - 10-12
Prep Time – 20 Minutes
Marinade Time – 2 Hours
Cook Time – 6 Minutes Direct Heat
Indirect Cooking Time – 12-15 Minutes
Difficulty – Jerkily Easy

4 Chicken  Breasts
3-4 Country Style Pork Ribs
3 Tbsp Jerk Dry Rub
1 c Jerk Sauce
3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Wash and dry chicken.

Wash and dry pork ribs.

Season chicken with Jerk Dry Rub.

Drizzle with olive oil. Season the chicken 2 – 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Now dance with the pork the same way. Season pork ribs with Jerk Dry Rub.

Drizzle with olive oil. Season the pork 2 – 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Five minutes before grilling, clean grill grate with a grill brush. Oil grill grates lightly with olive oil and a wad of paper towel. Preheat grill on ignite with the lid down.

Reduce heat to high. Place chicken and pork on grill over direct heat. Close lid and cook 1 minute lid down.

Open grill lid and cook 1 minute with the lid up.

Close lid and grill 1 minute lid down, totaling 3 minutes on the first side. The meat should be starting to release from the grill at this point.

Gently work the meat loose from the grill and flip.

Cook 1 minute lid down.

It’s time to apply the Jerk Sauce! Woooohooo! Cook 1 minute with lid up.

Close the lid and cook the last minute with the lid down.

Turn off the heat on one side of the grill. I turn off the heat on the left side of the grill.

Start taking the chicken off the grill. Place in basted or sauce side down in a stainless bowl.

Spread each piece of chicken with a tablespoon of Jerk Sauce on the second side. That’s the sauce free side!

Remove the pork ribs last.

Slather on the Jerk Sauce to the unsauced side.

Turn down the heat on the right hand side of the grill to medium.

Close lid and cook on indirect heat for 10-15 minutes. Check temperature of meat. Pork should be at around 140 °. If pork is at the right temperature, the chicken breasts will be done. The pork is sitting on top of the breasts and should be basting the chicken as they finish cooking.

Remove from grill. Turn off heat and close gas valve. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice meat thinly across the grain.

See this? It’s liquid gold! It contains part of the Jerk Sauce that rolled off the meat during cooking, and it also contains some of the lovely meat juices and a bit of the internal fat that rendered during cooking. Save it. Embrace it! You will use it soon!

Toss meat in the juices remaining in the bowl. Yep! That’s the liquid gold. Trust me. Do it.

Now serve it with delicious yummy sides! I went a little nuts and Bubba Gumped the Jerk Sauce. I had to know! I had to know how the sauce tastes when used as a condiment like a salsa. Hello…great!!!

It tasted great on cooked yellow and chayote squash with onion.

It tasted great in creamed spinach.

It tasted awesome in creamed broccoli.

An all around score!

Jerk Dry Rub
Serves – About 5 Tbsp give or take

Jerk Dry Rub. I was such a jerk! I didn't trust enough to
make this spice rub up in bulk. Now I must remake it! Doh!
1-2 pinches Stevia (I use SweetLeaf brand)
2 tsp Allspice, ground
2 tsp Granulated Garlic Powder
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Thyme Leaves, dried
2 tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
½ tsp Ginger, ground

Combine everything and mix well. Makes about 14 teaspoons or 4-2/3 tablespoons of Jerk Rub.

Adjust sweetness to suit your tastes!

Jerk Sauce
Serves – 1-1/2 cup give or take

Jerk Sauce makes a great salsa condiment on its own!
2-1/2 Tbsp Jerk Dry Rub
½ Medium Onion (1/2 cup coarse chop)
½ Medium Red Bell Pepper, seeded and coarse chop
2 Jalapenos, cut with seeds
¼ c Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar – Bragg’s Unfiltered preferred)
5 cloves Garlic, pressed

It's a simple group of ingredients that play magically together!

Coarsely cut onion, red bell pepper, and jalapenos. Don’t forget to include the jalapeno seeds and ribs!

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor.

Press the garlic into the container.

Puree until smooth.

Set aside sauce. I didn't use the entire dish of sauce. I miserly saved some for leftovers!! It worked out just fine! Store any "extra sauce" *snort* in an airtight glass container in the ice box.

Susie T’s Notes –This Jerk Rub will go into my stock of pre-made seasoning mixes. It’s so great, I can see application in everything from fish to all meats and no veggie is safe from it!

I also think the Jerk Sauce must go into the sauce rotation between fresh homemade TexMex salsa and chimichurri. It’s so good and ditto what I said for the versatility of the Jerk Rub.

Kent's Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Pork with Jerk Creamed
Broccoli, Jerk Creamed Spinach, and Jerk Squash - yes I did.
I Bubba Gumped Jerk Sauce! Sue me!
We loved this so much, we ended up eating this all week instead of packaging it in vacuum bags and storing it in the freezer. We spent about $10 on meat and got about 12 servings from it for a whopping $0.84/serving for the meat portion. The spices and sauce add maybe $0.20/serving to that! Cheap!

Check out some of the dishes we made with the leftovers! You would never in a million years guess it was made from leftovers.

Do you "get me" yet? I like cooking one meal. Then having the staples in the fridge, ready to morph into other dishes during the week. Saves time. Saves money (no throw aways). Saves energy. Winner! And no one bitches or moans (except um maybe the 'boys' but they do that's how they roll).

 Oh, and our friend Mr. Roasted Tomatoes ended up shoving its little nosey self into the leftovers, too!

The Jerk Chicken and Pork Pizzaiolo makes an appearance. Yep. Yum!

Jerk Cheeseburgers with Sauteed Onions and Chiles/Peppers. Yep. Woof! So good!

Kent, thanks again for a truly rippin' recipe!!! I appreciate all your hard work and dedication for those of us low carb and lovin' it! Love Atkin's Diet Geek site and so appreciate your videos!!


  1. Thank you for the very kind words, and I am very happy you liked the recipe so well. Love the format and the photos... Shoot I may use your photos from now on. :-)

    1. Hey Kent, kindness aside, this is a fantastic recipe! Thanks for sharing it and the wonderful video on it. LOL, you're vids and photos rock, dude!

      Happy Father's Day, have a great one.

  2. Gonna make the rub for sure! Wow. Very nice blog here! Beautiful presentation.

    1. Thank you Susan! So glad you like it and hope you will stick around and play with us!

      Now I can't give advice here, cuz I'm just a dumb girl who loves food and has lost 87lbs eating this way, but heck if it were me, I would call in "well" to work today and spend it making the spice rub in triplicate. Then I would spend the whole day putting spice rub into and onto different things and having a veritable jerkipalooza with veggies and meats of all sorts and sundry. (Sundry = Texan for stuff)!!!


Hey guys! Comments keep us going! Leave your thoughts, please? XOXO!