Instant Pot Jerk Chicken
Instant Pot Jerk Chicken
- The Jerk
- Choose ONE of the following:
- 1 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper, quartered with stem removed (WARNING: both peppers are EXTREMELY spicy and will come across that way in the dish, but that’s what Jerk Chicken’s known for. Scotch Bonnet peppers are traditionally used for this dish but are pretty hard to find, so a Habanero is fine to sub as they are very comparable). If you want some of the spice cut down, remove and discard the inner ribs and seeds
- 1 Jalapeño pepper (medium-hot spice and which is what I use and recommend as it’s spicy enough. If you want some of the spice cut down, remove and discard the inner ribs and seeds)
- WARNING: DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES DIRECTLY AFTER HANDLING THESE PEPPERS or you’ll be in for a rude awakening. Wash them thoroughly first after cutting.
- NOTE: Don’t want any spice at all? Leave out the peppers – but then this dish will be nice instead of a jerk
- The Marinade
- 8 oz can of pineapple rings or crushed pineapple (with their juices – try to get the 100% juice type over the heavy syrup)
- 1 small yellow onion, loosely chopped
- 3 scallions, loosely chopped
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of Chinese five spice
- 1 tsp of ground allspice
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp of white pepper
- 1 tsp of a Creole or Cajun seasoning such as Tony Chachere’s
- 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
- The Chicken
- 2-4 lbs of chicken thighs (about 4-8 of them), boneless/skinless OR bone-in/skin-on (it’s your choice)
- 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) of salted butter
- 1 tbsp of barbecue sauce
- 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce (optional, but suggested)
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch + 1 tbsp of water to form a slurry
This makes a LOT of sauce so the chicken can definitely be doubled without doubling the marinade/sauce ingredients. Basically if you wish to double, just add more chicken and that’s it.
You can easily save whatever sauce is left and serve it over rice. It goes just perfectly with it.
If you don’t want to pressure cook the chicken and would rather grill it on the BBQ instead, go for it! Simple grill it after marinating in the fridge instead of pressure cooking!
- Add The Jerk and the The Marinade ingredients only to a blender/food processor and blend until puréed into what looks like an applesauce consistency
- Lightly puncture each piece of chicken with a fork and place in a large plastic freezer bag. Pour half the marinade over the chicken and reserve the other half in an airtight container. Refrigerate both the marinated chicken and reserved marinade overnight or for 4 hours minimum and up to 24 hours (don’t skip this step as it really gives the chicken some infused flavor)
- When ready to cook, add the butter to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once the butter’s melted, take some tongs and place the chicken in the pot (it should hold 4 thighs at a time). Sauté the chicken for about 1-2 minutes on each side
- After briefly sautéing the chicken in the pot, pour in the rest of the marinade from the bag as well as the other half of marinade reserved in the airtight container. Don’t mix it in with the chicken, but rather just pour it over the chicken
- Secure the lid in sealing position, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” at High Pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release when done
- Once the lid comes off, remove the chicken with tongs to a serving dish and then hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” again and then hit “Sauté” again and leave it on “High” or “More.” Once the sauce bubbles, stir in the cornstarch slurry and then immediately kill the heat by hitting “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then keep the pot on warm. Once the bubbles die down a bit, the sauce will have thickened up to the perfect consistency
- Add in the barbecue sauce and hoisin sauce and give it a final stir and then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve. NOTE: If you want to give it a bit of a char, brush the sauce onto the chicken and broil in the oven for 3-5 minutes or flash grill on the BBQ for a couple minutes (just keep an eye on it because the chicken will already be cooked and tender so don’t over-do it)
- Enjoy over rice!