Jerk Chicken and Ragamuffins

April 5, 2014

Jerk Chicken and Ragamuffins

Almost looks a bit artfully food styley styley, that photo, doesn’t it? IT’S LIKE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ME. Then you clock the gnawed chicken bone on the right, the Iphone slung to the left and you realise, yeah it’s just a genuine mess on my table, actually. Wang it on there and chow down, as I believe they say on Downton Abbey.

I cooked this chicken on the BBQ, which is how I will be cooking all of my food until Monday, since I had what is known to all rational (urgh) and calm people as a GAS CRISIS. The flame in my oven started burning orange instead of the regular, non-panic-making blue, so faster than you could say ‘Google is the first port of call in a potentially serious situation’ I was reading combinations of words like ‘incomplete combustion’ and ‘carbon monoxide production’. It did at least explain why the ragamuffins took 40 minutes longer to cook than they should have done. Mmmm carbon monoxide laced corn muffins. Think I’ll probably need to get back to you with that recipe at a later date. Still ate them. Well, half of one; the rest are still on the balcony.

The chicken however was awesome and I want to tell you two pieces of information with regards to jerk chicken. The first is that this method of soaking bay leaves in water and making a little bed for the chicken with them on the grill is brilliant, and probably the closest we’ll ever get here to replicating the flavour of allspice wood. The second is that my jerk marinade has some new threads, designed by my old roomie, Vicki Brown. I love them. As soon as I get my arse in gear there will be a new shiny website for it too, but you know, I’ve got 99 problems right now, and potentially slipping away in a gas induced coma during the night is one of them*. Might take me a while to get around to that website thing. You can buy the marinade here as before though, in Persepolis in Peckham and possibly maybe shortly in some new exciting new places which I’m too scared to tell you about in case something goes wrong.

Jerk on.

Jerk Chicken and Ragamuffins



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  • Avatar
    Reply Bernie April 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm


    was the first thing I thought upon reading the title of this post. However, the merest of perusals of the piece made it quite clear to me that there wasn’t, actualy a recipe for the ‘Raggamuffin’s’ that had been promised;
    Im not entirel’y sure of the legality of this. But given that I pay for my internet connection; and your site is content on said internet – thus – something I pay for, I think Im correct in thinking that you are engaging in false advertorialising.
    Please remedy this with expedience, by (a) ideally. letting us know the ‘Raggamuffin’ recipe. or (b) removing all references to said ‘Raggmuffin’s’ from your work.
    Many thanks
    Bernie (of the sauce)

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      *turns oven back on*

  • Avatar
    Reply Gene April 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Oh, baby. That shot on the BBQ is far sexier than any pic that you’d get from a gas range! Love the orange glow of the embers. Now I’m hungry!

    Jerk on.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Absolutely. BBQ is king. Or Queen. Definitely Queen.

  • Avatar
    Reply Lizzie April 6, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I might disconnect your gas permanently and then move in, thus making it necessary for you to make this all the time.

    That works, right?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 6, 2014 at 10:49 am

      That seems perfectly reasonable.

  • Avatar
    Reply Joe Hammond April 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Brilliant bay leaves business. Now thinking about becoming an Al Freso jerk myself. All I need to do is take my sandwich outside …

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Grill that sandwich!

  • Avatar
    Reply Patrick April 7, 2014 at 11:47 am

    What a genius idea about the bay leaves

  • Avatar
    Reply gordan April 11, 2014 at 6:51 am

    The other secret to good jerk is the prayer you recite just before placing the meat on the barbecue, don’t quote me but when I was in Jamaica I saw the Jerk masters at work, obviously the wood and leaves used but each marinade recipe is different, but the secret is a special prayer that the jerk master recites before placing the meat. This is followed by a swig of white rum. Now all the elements in lign for perfect jerk.
    Helen need to taste that marinade it looks amazing

  • Avatar
    Reply Chloe April 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    That chicken just looks like the best thing ever, thanks for the bay leaf tip. I have a massive bay tree in the garden that’s at risk of getting cut down, methinks this might be reason enough to keep it.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      You must try it!!

  • Avatar
    Reply rej April 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Can’t believe I STILL haven’t tried your famous marinade. Really must get me a jar, especially now there’s a natty label and everything. Clever bay leaves. PS Happy Birthday!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you! And yes, you do need to try it.

  • Avatar
    Reply Leel April 20, 2014 at 8:15 am

    That bed of bay thing is a great wheeze. Gonna try that on various meats once bbq season kicks in.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Good innit! I’m going to be trying it with various other meats too. And fish.

  • Avatar
    Reply Raph Millin May 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Hey Helen.Any news on the jerk cookout 2014!?!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen May 20, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Hi Raph, I’m afraid I’ve not heard any rumours of the cookout starting up again.

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