This easy jerk chicken recipe uses pineapple juice instead of sugar so it’s Whole30 compliant and paleo friendly! It’s a simple, flavorful weeknight meal that’s perfect for the summer!
Welcome to the first (and probably the last) episode of “things that I really don’t understand:”
On this episode:
I mean, they’re made of healthy carbs and fats. Should that not be considered BREAKFAST?
- Why did I, the food blogger who could eat mango chicken with coconut cauliflower rice or anything with cauliflower Alfredo ALL DAY LONG, marry someone who doesn’t like CAULIFLOWER?
- Why do they call it jerk chicken?
Like, RLY, what did this tender-juicy chicken full of grill-y, spicy-sweet protein yumminess ever do to THE PERSON WHO NAMED IT?
These are the things that keep me up at night. Now you know the inner working of my mind.
I think I might have addressed this VRY IMPORTANT life question in the jerk shrimp stew or vegetarian lettuce wraps with jerk grilled tofu, and I S-T-I-L-L have not found the answer to my quest for the meaning of life. Which is really just an over-dramatic way of saying “quest for the jerk chicken naming knowledge.” But, you know what I mean.
UPDATED: I finally learned the answer and shared it in the slow cooker Jerk chicken curry!
The classic Caribbean marinade is just POPPIN’ with everything that is good and delicious in the world: spicayyy habanero peppers, creamy coconut oil, warm cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice that is mish-mashed together with ginger and sweet pineapple juice.
When I think of putting that in my mouth, my brain does not think “JERK” in the L-E-A-S-T.
More like “why is this magical spicy-sweet food yumminess, with its Island flair, not inside my mouth at every single hour of my LIFE?
Pro tip: put your contact lenses in BEFORE you dice your habaneros. I learned this the hard way.
Send saline. STAT.
In other news, and speaking of Island things, the specific jerk chicken that your hungry little selves are peepin’ today is MAJORLY on-FLEEK (so trendy right now) in the caribbnean-island-tropical-food department because it’s made with pineapple juice. TYPICALLY, the “sweet” component that is SUPER required to balance out all of the spicy habanero shenanigans goin’ on here comes from sugar.
But, you’re been all over the “whole30 compliant” recipes lately, so I thought you might want some MORE OF THAT. <– This means IX-NAY on sugar of ANY kind.
Pineapple juice though? It’s the perfect tangy burst of (natural!) sweetness that kicks this (RIDICULOUSLY EASY) skewer of happy-belly-making food tastiness into HIGH GEAR and grants it the powers to be something that could very well likely just become part of your dinner rotation for the next, ummm, EVER.
Also, adding pineapple chunks to your skewers and then grilling them? GOOD LIFE CHOICE.
Not that I needed to tell you that. If you’ve ever eaten grilled pineapple in your life, you’ll understand me when I say that I could probably write a post devoted JUST to my love for the way the sugar naturally caramelizes on the grill, and how it mix-and-mingles with that fire-y, smoky deliciousness in a way that a person who loves delicious food can only OBSESS about.
And, if you haven’t tried grilled pineapple. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?
But if, for some reason, you don’t like pineapple? You COULD serve this with a side of Thai mango avocado salad with grilled sweet potatoes for a little Island meets Asian mash up of GOODNESS.
Now that we’ve determined that this chicken does not earn the “master jerk” title, I wouldn’t want you to accidently fill that spot.
You know, by not making this for dinner tonight, and depriving yourself of all things yummy and easy and WHOLE in the world.
Don’t do it.
I warned you.
Easy Jerk Chicken Recipe with Pineapple
- 1/4 Cup Pineapple juice
- 3 Tbsp Red onion diced
- 2 tsp Coconut aminos
- 2 tsp Habanero pepper seeded and roughly chopped (1 large pepper)
- 1/2 Tbsp Coconut oil melted
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh garlic minced
- 1 1/4 tsp Fresh lime juice
- 3/4 tsp Fresh ginger minced
- 3/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp Ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp + 1/8 Ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp + 1/8 Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1 lb Chicken breast cut into cubes *
- 1 Cups Pineapple chunks (about 1/2 a 20oz can drained)
- Place all of the ingredients, up to the chicken, in a small food processor (mine is 3 cups) and process until smooth and well combined, scraping the sides down as necessary.
- Add the mixture into a large bowl, along with the chicken cubes. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight.
- Once marinated, preheat your grill to medium high heat.
- Divide the chicken and pineapple chunks between 4 skewers (if you're using bamboo skewers, remember to soak them in water first!) and grill until charred and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes, turning the skewers occasionally.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: SMARTPOINTS: 3 POINTS+: 4. OLD POINTS: 4
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAG @FOODFAITHFIT AND #FOODFAITHFITNESS ON INSTAGRAM! I LOVE SEEING YOUR RECIPE RECREATIONS!
Want more paleo kebabs?
Paleo chicken kebabs from around the web:
Thai Chicken with Spicy Satay Sauce – The Endless Meal
Lemon Chicken Kebabs with Grilled Zucchini – Paleo Leap
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