Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa
Jamaican jerk chicken tacos that are made with my own jerk seasoning. The jerk chicken is grilled, cubed and made into takes along with my mango salsa that’s spiked with a teeeny tiny habenero pepper. This is THE flavor experience your mouth has been begging for!
I think greeting you with a plate full of Jamaican jerk chicken tacos is the only way I can make up to you the two weeks of chaos that has prevented me from posting!
We’ll get to these flavorful jerk chicken tacos in just a second.
You guys. I have to tell you something. I have tooo much stuff. As in too much. How do people live such a minimalist life? I mean, I’m not a hoarder by any means, at least I don’t think so. (I have no issues tossing out stuff, albeit
sometimes most times, it’s my husbands old clothes that he hasn’t worn in years but refuses to give away. 😛 ) Hopefully he doesn’t realize the sweatpants with the holes in the knees are gone. Those pants, oye!
And in my defense, ever since I started Little Spice Jar, A LOT of the stuff belongs to the blog. Dishes, napkins, plates, and bowls.They fit so nice and snug in my two bedroom. I don’t know how it all fit in the place we were in before. It’s really a miracle that it did. And now, LSJ has a room of it’s very own. I am beyond stoked.
These. These Jamaican jerk chicken tacos! Oh my god. They had my head spinning in every direction with each bite. My husband loved the sweet, spicy, flavorful chicken that’s rubbed in my homemade jerk seasoning. But what makes these tacos OUTSTANDING is the mango salsa. Hands down. The flavors from the mango habanero salsa with the jerk seasoning on the chicken and wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. I could eat these tacos for every meal of the day.
Let’s talk about the seasoning for this jerk chicken recipe. Jerk is style of cooking that’s native to Jamaica. The meat which is usually chicken or pork, is dry-rubbed or wet marinated. In our case, it’s a dry-rub. If you decide to use a store bought jerk seasoning mix rather than make your own, make sure you see ‘allspice’ or ‘pimento’ listed as an ingredient. It’s a major ingredient that shouldn’t be left out.
My jerk seasoning recipe contains 10 ingredients other than salt and pepper. If it’s simply not your thing to make your own seasoning or you don’t have all the spices on hand, feel free to use a store bought seasoning mix. But keep in mind, the homemade flavor is going to be a million times better. <— are you convinced to make a batch yet? No? Okay, i’ll keep trying.
- brown sugar – I used dark brown because of the higher molasses content
- crushed red peppers
- dried thyme
- garlic powder
- ground ginger
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
My recipe for the seasoning makes enough for 2 times. So the next time you make these jerk chicken tacos, you don’t want to make the seasoning again. You could also just double the ingredients and make a double batch, which would last you a month if you made these tacos every week. Hint: you’re gonna wanna make these tacos every. single. week.
The ingredients for the mango salsa are simple. I used a habanero pepper with the seeds and ribs removed, if spice is really not your thing, feel free to replace the habanero with a jalapeno with the seeds and ribs removed. It should make the flavor super mild. Along with the mango and pepper, we’re using 1/2 a red onion, 1/2 a red bell pepper, a couple squeezes of lime juice, and a handful of chopped cilantro. If you end up with a mango that’s really not sweet and more tart, feel free to add in a squeeze of honey.
Jamaican jerk chicken tacos topped with a mango salsa are perfect for Friday night dinners. If you make the seasoning ahead of time, you can have the tacos on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes. And if you make the seasoning just before making the tacos, it’ll take you 35. I think you can spare additional 5 minutes making this homemade jerk seasoning mix that is going to taste a bajillion times better than store bought and not have a million different fillers and isn’t loaded with enough salt to bloat you for three days!
…And on that note, Happy Friday!
- 1 Habanero pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced (replace with jalapeno for less spicy)
- 1 1/2 mangoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Jerk chicken tacos:
- 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning mix (recipe follows, store bought is fine too)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8-10 flour or corn tortillas
For the mango salsa:
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
For the jerk chicken tacos:
- Season the chicken breasts with the dry jerk seasoning, use your hands to rub the spice mix. Place the chicken breasts on a hot grill or skillet that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to cook for 4 minutes per side.The outside should be deep in color, nice and caramelized. Make sure the inside is no longer pink. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes before dicing.
To assemble tacos:
- Heat the tortillas, fill with diced jerk chicken and mango salsa. Serve warm.
Use the honey in the mango salsa if the mangoes are very tart. Otherwise, omit.
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on spice preference)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.