Zaire's Family Recipe For Kickin' Jerk Chicken
So what does Jerk mean anyways? Well there are a few different theories on that.
One is the word “jerk” comes from the Peruvian word “charqui” meaning “dried meat.” Another states it evolved from a noun, “jerk”, to a verb, “jerking”, and referred to the cooking method where holes are poked into the meat so the spices can be absorbed. But author, Helen Willinsky believes the name comes from the way cooks would jerk pieces of meat off of a roast on the barbeque.
But it is commonly agreed that Jerk is a Jamaican style of seasoning and cooking. The “Jerk” style uses a marinade or paste, usually pimento, a.k.a. allspice, and scotch bonnets, also known as habenero peppers. The meat is marinated and slow smoked over pimento wood.