June marks Caribbean Heritage Month, and in New Orleans, we have plenty to celebrate. As the northernmost city to the Caribbean, you can find many parallels between Caribbean and New Orleanian customs, cultures and of course, cuisines. 

In the spirit of celebrating Caribbean Heritage Month, we made our way to Boswell’s Jamaican Grill - a hidden gem of the Crescent City serving authentic, Jamaican favorites for over 20 years - for a special installment of Cookbook Club.

Family owned and operated since 1988, Boswell’s is an intimate eatery that sits along Tulane Avenue. It’s brightly colored and small in size, but their team and menu pack a mighty punch. Hearty favorites like slow-cooked oxtails in butter beans, curried goat and fried fish are just a few of the menu highlights. 

We caught up with Boswell’s head Chef Alisha Rayson to get her recipe for one of their best sellers: authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. Chef Alisha, originally from Jamaica, has lead Boswell’s culinary team for the past six years. Her passion for food and culture has brought her to kitchens around the world, including her native Jamaica, New York, Philadelphia, and now, New Orleans. 

Needless to say, the flavors are explosive, the process is simple, and the end result will leave you with a taste of why locals can't get enough of Boswell's delicious offerings. 

Boswell’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe 

Instructions: 

Health is wealth - so cleaning your poultry, veggies and cooking space is vital. Chef Alisha recommends cleaning the chicken of your choice in water with a little bit of white vinegar. They can soak for just a few moments and then be drained. 

Once your chicken is cleaned and ready to go, gather your spices and start seasoning. Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken calls for:

Ingredients 

  • Chicken of your choosing (thighs + leg quarters recommended)
  • Allspice
  • Seasoning salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Pimento Seasoning 
  • Walkerswood Jerk Marinade  

Chef Alisha omits measurements for a reason–jerk seasoning is spicy and flavorful in nature, and it's up to you how much of the heat you want in your dishI Marinate with a jerk paste (Rayson recommends Walkerswood Jerk) to your spice preference and ensure chicken is evenly and well coated with all dry rub ingredients. Once seasoned to your liking, allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour. 

Jerk chicken is best prepared on a grill.  Check periodically to flip and adjust as needed. Once the chicken reaches a golden brown color and is cooked all the way through, it is done. 

Jerk Chicken is served best with rice and peas (known here as Red Beans & Rice), Callaloo (or greens in the U.S.), and fried plantains.