Some recipes like this jamaican jerk oven fried chicken take some prep and getting your fingers sticky and gooey. Yes, there’s gonna be some clean up, dishes, a messy counter space and some other odds and ends. But, the outcome is well worth all the effort and time you put into it.
There’s two steps to this chicken. It’s flash fried for a few minutes just to get the great crust on the exterior. Then it’s oven baked to get the tender juicy inside meat all done. When you pull it out, you’re gonna think you’ve got fried chicken like grandma used to make deep frying it in maybe vegetable oil or lard back in the day.
The spicy orange jalapeno sauce is just an added plus to this chicken. A bonus. You don’t ‘have’ to make it, but you’ll be glad you did! If you have something else that makes you happy, like buttermilk bleu cheese or ranch dressing/sauce/dip, that would be amazing, too. I serve this chicken with just a salad or a light vegetable side. No gravies, sauces or anything to mask the Mother Earth vegetable flavor~peas, roasted zucchini or squash, steamed or roasted asparagus, succotash. I figure with all the crispy on the chicken I’ve got the carbs covered!
4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (about 1 ½ pounds)
4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (about 2 pounds)
½ cup canola oil
SPICY ORANGE JALAPENO SAUCE
2 Tbl. bacon drippings
¼ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, about 2 Tbl. + more thin round slices for garnish
The most important thing about this recipe is to have everything that you need ready: two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for the chicken, a mixing bowl for the buttermilk/egg mixture, a pie plate for the flour/spice dredging mixture, and a large (12”) heavy skillet for flash frying the chicken + tongs.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, JJ seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, tarragon, oregano and cumin in a pie plate and blend together well.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Put the chicken in the bowl and let it sit about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the sauce. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, add all the ingredients. Bring to a simmering boil. Reduce heat to medium, continuing a simmering boil. Stir occasionally and cook about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken.
Flash frying the Chicken: In a large 12” heavy skillet put the canola oil. Turn heat to medium high and let it get hot.
Take each piece of chicken and shake off excess buttermilk. Dredge in the flour mixture. Coat well. Put each piece of floured chicken on one of the parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Place 4-5 pieces of chicken in the hot oil and fry on each side about 2 minutes getting a good golden brown crust. Use tongs to carefully turn the chicken then when both sides are fried, remove to the second cookie sheet. Repeat until all the chicken is flash fried.
Cover the cookie sheet with the flash fried chicken with double foil. Bake in a preheated 400 oven for about 35 minutes.
Remove the foil and cook uncovered the last 5-8 minutes.
Remove and serve the chicken with drizzles of the sauce and garnish with a thin slice of jalapeno.
With the jalapeno, it's the seeds that create the heat. So, if you want less heat, remove some of those seeds.
Be sure to wash your hands well when working with hot peppers!