Jerk turkey is a delicious and flavorful dish that is sure to delight your taste buds.
Its unique combination of spices and marinade give it a zesty and bold flavor that is both savory and sweet.
This article will help you prepare jerk turkey so that you can enjoy it again and again.
What ingredients are needed to make jerk turkey?
The main ingredient in jerk turkey is the chicken.
The meat needs to be tenderized and flavored with some of the best spices available.
The amount of seasoning will vary depending on how much marinade the meat absorbs.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cayenne pepper, allspice and ginger are just a few of the flavors that contribute to the overall taste of this dish.
The best meats to use are dark meat chicken thighs (they contain more rich and delicious flavors) or breast pieces (which have less sinew which makes it easier to chew).
You’ll also need a spice rub or seasoning available at most supermarkets.
Some markets will sell a jerk seasoning for use on poultry, but you can make your own with all of the above spices.
If your ingredients are simple and easy to find, your preparation time can be short, but should you run into any difficulties or complications in making jerk turkey, there are steps you can take to help rectify the situation.
What is the best marinade for jerk turkey?
There are many different recipes for jerk turkey, and each region has its own unique version.
In Jamaica, the most common marinade is a combination of orange juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, cloves, thyme, allspice and chili peppers.
In Trinidad and Tobago, marinades are often used to tenderize the meat before cooking.
Over time, the term “jerk” has taken on a variety of meanings.
In Jamaica, jerk refers to the taste of the meat; in Trinidad and Tobago it refers to a cooking style that involves quickly searing meat in a hot pan with a seasoning paste before finishing it off in a slow oven.
The best way to select the type of jerk you want is to ask your butcher what kind he recommends.
He should be able to recommend a marinade specific to your region.
How long does it take to cook jerk turkey?
For a recipe that is relatively simple, cooking jerk turkey can take a while.
The sweet and spice marinade alone takes several hours to soak into the meat.
The longer you marinate it, the more tender the meat will be when it’s done cooking.
Most recipes recommend marinating the meat overnight or for at least four to five hours, but the time needed will vary based on the size of your turkey and how long you cook it.
You can also choose to cook it longer if you want a more tender texture.
What is the difference between jerk chicken and jerk turkey?
There are two main differences between jerk chicken and jerk turkey.
First, while both dishes employ flavors reminiscent of the Caribbean, they are made using two different meat types.
Jerk chicken is a dish made with poultry, usually chicken or turkeys, in a red Jamaican jerk marinade.
It is commonly served as a main course or as part of a larger meal.
Jerk turkey is a traditional American dish that uses turkey meat in its marinade.
It works just as well with other meats as it does with turkey.
Are there any special techniques for making jerk turkey?
Well, it is important to know that there are also different types of jerk chicken dishes.
For example, you have Jamaican jerk chicken, Chinese jerk chicken and Peruvian jerk chicken.
The commonalities between them is that they all have a similar flavors and marinades.
Jerk turkey is one of these dishes.
It has the same flavors as jerk chicken but these flavors are combined with a unique marinade that gives it a zesty, bold and savory taste.
The only difference between these two dishes is the type of spices and the marinade used.
So if you want to enjoy this dish but don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to make it at home, you can always purchase it from your local supermarket or restaurant.
What kind of side dishes pair best with jerk turkey?
Jerk turkey is a main course that you would typically serve with rice, yams or plantain, and a refreshing tossed salad.
If you are planning to make jerk turkey as part of a meal you will want to pair it with something other than the traditional side dishes.
You could go a little more adventurous and try serving jerk turkey with some of the common Caribbean sides such as green banana and sweet potatoes.
The combination of meat, marinade and spices is great on its own so try adding green banana slices or strips along with your plantains for some extra flavor.
You could also consider preparing jerk turkey on a bed of greens.
Start by washing and drying your greens, then shred them into small pieces before sautéing them in a little oil together with some red onion, bell pepper, garlic, and scallions.
You can add more spices and herbs if you like depending on your taste.
If you are using corn tortillas as a side dish you may want to try adding your favorite salsa.
Salsa is extremely versatile so feel free to make several different types using ingredients such as tomato, cilantro, jalapenos, onions, peppers and/or any spices that you prefer.
If you want to offer jerk turkey as part of a meal but don’t have time to prep any sides then around the holidays or at special occasions parties try serving jerk turkey tacos.
A regular taco shell will suffice for this dish.
How spicy is jerk turkey typically?
Jerk turkey is commonly thought to be quite spicy because of the combination of hot peppers and allspice.
However, this dish is not spicy by any means.
The really spicy part of the dish is the pepper sauce that is included in the marinade.
The sauce contains a variety of peppers, including habaneros and Scotch bonnets, which can be quite hot!
If you are not a fan of extremely hot food, jerk turkey will still be tasty without the peppers.
Is jerk turkey healthy?
Jerk turkey is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates.
It is a good source of protein and vitamins, and it has a low cholesterol content.
Jerk turkey is not a very rich source of sodium, but it does contain generous amounts of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and many other minerals.
High mineral content makes it a good choice for reducing stress and raising energy levels.
What is the best way to store leftover jerk turkey?
The best way to store leftover jerk turkey is in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you’re not using your turkey right away, you can also store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
The key to storing jerk turkey is its marinade.
If you chose to marinate your turkey in a regular peanut or vegetable oil mixture (without the extra seasonings), you must use a different method of storage.
Jams and jellies do not stay fresh for more than two weeks; so keep this in mind if you are planning on eating your jerk turkey soon.
Is jerk turkey appropriate for a special occasion?
Jerk turkey is a fun dish to prepare and a great choice for a special occasion.
Not only is it hearty and delicious, it also has versatility.
The spicy and sweet flavors of the jerk marinade pair well with most vegetables, grains, or sauces.
You can use the jerk marinade to add flavor to other dishes such as chicken, steaks, pork tenderloin, and many other meats.
In fact, there are not many dishes you can’t combine with jerk marinade.
If you have never used the jerk marinade before, try sprinkling it on your favorite steaks for that hint of sweetness along with the spicy heat of the jerk.
Try the same seasoning mixture on lamb or beef.
- 1 Oven
- Make a few deep cuts into the turkey legs' flesh, but avoid going all the way to the bone. Jerk and all-purpose spices should be sprinkled on top.
- The oven should be heated to 200°C/180°F/gas 6. Place the turkey chunks in a large roasting pan, skin-side up, and cook for 30 minutes. When the turkey parts are golden brown and the fluids flow clear when the thickest part of the thighs are punctured with a knife, flip the pieces over, lower the heat to 180°C/160°F fan/gas 4, and roast for another 30 minutes. Check if the internal temperature of the meat is 75C if you have a meat thermometer. Before spreading the remaining spring onions on top to serve, cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes to rest.