Oceania Cruise Lines’ Executive Chef Ronald Smith’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Photo Courtesy of Oceania Cruise Lines

Oceania Cruise Lines’ Executive Chef Ronald Smith’s is from Discovery Bay, Jamaica.  He attended the Culinary Arts Institute of Jamaica..  After graduation, Chef Smith worked at several hotels in Jamaica and won several Culinary Arts Carving competitions.
Chef Smith began his career with Oceania Cruise Lines in 2004.  His first job

Photo Courtesy of Oceania Cruise Lines

with Oceania was as Chef De Partie and he served in a variety of culinary positions.  Later, Chef Smith was promoted to Executive Chef.

Here is Oceania Cruise Lines’ Executive Chef Ronald Smith’s favorite recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once, jerk chicken is as much about the cuisine of Jamaica as the culture. Through a slow-smoke method, the age-old Caribbean practice of jerking has long been used to cure meat either by marinating or rubbing it with a seasoning and then slow-grilling it over wood.



Jamaican Jerk Chicken
(Makes 4 servings)

4 whole chicken legs, bone-in and skin-on
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt

Jerk Marinade
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed (more if it should be very spicy)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime
juice of ½ orange

Combine all the ingredients listed for Jerk marinade in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour marinade over the chicken and marinate for 12 to 24 hours. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Barbecue the chicken in a charcoal grill slowly over low heat until fully cooked, turning regularly and baste with some of the remaining marinade while cooking. The chicken is cooked when chicken juices are completely clear, usually about 30 minutes depending on the heat of the grill and the size of the chicken legs. Pair with rice and a Red Stripe Jamaican beer or your favorite rum cocktail!

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