Aloha! My name is Shanna and I am the cook and baker, food stylist and photographer of the blog, Pineapple and Coconut . My awesome husband is my number 1 taste tester and dishwasher, and my two young daughters eat all of what I make! That is a win in my book. My focus for my recipes is fresh whole ingredients, always organic, non-gmo and locally sourced when possible and of course I love adding in tropical flavors as often as possible since I adore all things Hawaiian and tropical. Living in Las Vegas makes for finding 100% local tricky sometimes, but we have some amazing farmers markets and food co-ops and even our own little backyard container garden. I also believe in life is too short not to eat dessert, so I make sure all my desserts have the highest quality ingredients I can get. I like to eat and make food that looks and tastes amazing.
I was thrilled when Better Homes and Gardens invited me to make a recipe for them for their Delish Dish blog. I sat down at my computer and surfed their recipe page looking for the perfect dish to make. With it almost summer, ( yay my favorite season) barbecues and grills are coming out from their winter hiding spots and are gearing up for a long summer BBQ season, I knew I wanted to make a delicious summer BBQ recipe. I saw this Jerk Chicken and Slaw recipe and I knew that was what I wanted to make. But I wanted to make a few changes. I am a huge fan of BBQ chicken drumsticks, they are such a great summer BBQ food, kids love them because they can hold on to them and not have to worry about using a fork to eat ( something my kids always forget to do anyway) and the possibilities are endless with flavor combinations with them. They also go amazing with a variety of side dishes.
I started out with the drumsticks rinsed and patted dry and then seasoned well with this amazing organic Jamaican Jerk Spice I have. I have a funny story about Jamaican Jerk Spice…
When my husband and I were first dating, we lived in Vail, Colorado. We would venture over to Breckenridge, CO now and then to eat out at some of the awesome restaurants there. There was one place in particular that we tried on one of our very first dates, Rasta Pasta, that left a very lasting impression on us, and our mouths. They had all these amazing Carribbean and Jamaican inspired pasta dishes, one was with Jamaican Jerk chicken, another with bananas and pineapple, there was a dish called “Spicy Jammin” and a “Chicken Montego Bay”. Lots of fun dishes. Since my husband and I like heat and spicy foods we ordered our pasta dishes HOT. And let me tell you this, we thought the waiter made a mistake by leaving the entire pitcher of water on our table instead of just pouring two glasses and taking it to full other patron’s glasses. Oh no. He left it there on purpose.
Those pasta dishes were quite possible the spiciest food we have ever eaten. Even to this day almost 10 years later, we still talk about how we drank 2 pitchers of water and our mouths were still on fire. It was years until I ate Jamaican Jerk spice again. And that time I asked for way less spice, which was a wise decision. I love the flavor of Jamaican jerk spice so when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make it, but make it so I didn’t need 2 pitchers of water to go with it.
The original recipe for this Jerk Chicken and Slaw called for chicken breasts and cooked either on a skillet or grill pan. I decided to marinate the chicken drumsticks overnight and grill. A few steps I did differently were:
- 3lbs of organic chicken drumsticks marinated with 2 Tbsp Jamaican Jerk Spice, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, 1/4 c light brown sugar, 2 Tbsp EACH cider vinegar and white wine vinegar. Marinate in a baggie in the refrigerator 6 hours up to overnight.
- Preheat a grill to 450 Deg F. I placed the drumsticks on a baking sheet and sprinkled with another tablespoon of the spice ( obviously use more or less depending on how spicy you want it) and more salt and pepper. Place on the grill and I flip eer 5-7 min until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the drumsticks is 185 Deg F. About 20-25 min depending on the thickness of the chicken.
- Once the chicken drumsticks are fully cooked, let rest for 10 min before serving.
This slaw is a perfect side dish to go with the spicy jerk chicken drumsticks. Its cool, sweet, crunchy and tangy. The original slaw recipe from the Jerk Chicken and Slaw, called for just pineapple, baby bok choy ( another fave of mine) red cabbage and cider vinegar. I decided since the chicken drumsticks had the cider vinegar in the marinade that I wanted to go a slightly different route with the slaw. I used half pineapple balsamic and half white balsamic vinegars in place and I also added in julienned mango and cilantro. I made this an hour before I grilled the drumsticks so it had a chance for all the flavors to come together. I also made a side of sticky rice to finish off the meal.
Either way that you prepare this recipe, the original way for the Jerk Chicken and Slaw, or my adapted version which I am calling Jamaican Jerk Chicken Drumsticks with Pineapple Mango Slaw, you will have a 100% guaranteed amazing meal. Perfect to eat out on the back deck or patio or to bring to a BBQ potluck! Aloha!