A few weeks back I had a craving for jerk chicken, wait, what is jerk chicken?
Jerk is a Caribbean staple, especially in Jamaica. Most often it's pork or chicken marinated in a flavourful combination of allspice, cinnamon, thyme, pepper, onion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, an acid (orange juice or vinegar), vegetable oil and scotch bonnet peppers for heat. Traditionally it's cooked over pimento wood on 50 gallon drums which have been cut in half. This is Caribbean street food at it's finest. Most nights you'll find vendors on the street cooking jerk and offering it up to passers by.
I have an awesome recipe I use when I plan ahead, but, the mood struck me and I headed off Sunrise Caribbean Restaurant (4100 Baldwin St. South) in Whitby to get my jerk fix. I opted for a the jerk chicken special which comes with rice & peas, cole slaw and a drink.
It was prepped right away and I took it home.
Upon arrival I was a bit taken aback, it was pretty small for the price. I got rice and peas barely covered by a thigh, a cup of slaw and a can of Diet Pepsi for just over $8. I know I can make a huge tray of legs for about the same price. I wasn't off to a good start.
Tucking in, I was impressed. The chicken had good flavour and was moist, the rice was well done and their oxtail gavy was perfectly acceptable. The slaw was very soupy and sweet, pretty much cabbage in Miracle Whip.
Flavour wise the lunch was fine, value wise I felt ripped. I have been to a jerk place in Scarborough on a few occasions and had a container twice the size of this with a leg and a thigh, rice and peas with an off-brand diet cola for the same price.
Sorry for the image quality, I'm assuming the styrofoam reflected light back at the lens of my cell phone. I didn't catch it during my quick review of the pic before attacking my Big Mac container of food.......