Recipe courtesy of JJ Johnson

Air Fryer Jerk Chicken with Spicy BBQ Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Jerk chicken is typically cooked in a smoker, low and slow, to really let the flavors develop. But sometimes you want some jerk chicken without the wait! Throw that spiced chicken in the air fryer and it will be crispy, juicy and deliciously done in no time. This recipe gives us just what we’re looking for thanks to the traditional elements of Jamaican jerk on dark-meat chicken pieces. A sweet and tangy barbecue sauce adds even more flavor.



BBQ Sauce:


Special equipment:
an air fryer
  1. Preheat an air fryer to 380 degrees F. Line the basket with parchment paper and spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. For the chicken: Combine the brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, thyme, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large resealable bag and mix to combine. Add the chicken, in batches if necessary, and shake to coat the pieces completely. 
  3. Let the chicken rest while you make the BBQ sauce: Place the brown sugar, scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, soy sauce, lime juice, tamarind paste, vinegar, cinnamon, thyme, salt and pepper in a food processor and add 1/2 cup water. Pulse until well blended, making sure the ginger is incorporated. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes to meld the flavors, stirring every few minutes. 
  4. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the prepared basket, making sure the pieces don’t touch (cook the chicken in batches if necessary). Cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the basket from the fryer, flip the chicken with tongs, and baste with BBQ sauce. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees, about 12 minutes more. Serve the remainder of the BBQ sauce on the side with the finished chicken. 

Cook’s Note

Tamarind paste is available at specialty markets and online.