When you hear the word jerk you probably think of barbecued chicken. And that’s great! But What to serve with jerk chicken? Does it have to change? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Jerk chicken is so much more than just chicken on a stick. It can be served with a variety of side dishes to make it a complete meal. Here are 5 things you should serve with jerk chicken.
A side of rice
Rice is a great side dish because it can be served hot or cold, and it has a ton of health benefits. You can eat it alone or add it to your jerk recipe. For example, you can serve plain rice with jerk chicken and other side dishes, such as green beans, corn on the cob, or fresh vegetables. Or, you can mix and match your favorite vegetables to create a colorful, balanced meal. Hate rice? Try sweet potato, plantains, or zucchini! They’re all great in this dish.
A starch to tame your hunger
To make your meal a complete meal, consider serving with a side of starch. For example, you can top your plain rice with potatoes, corn, or even okra. Or, you can simply eat your potatoes alone. Either way, a side of starch helps you feel full and satisfied for hours. If you don’t like potatoes, try carrots, sweet potatoes, or avocados. You can eat your carrots or sweet potatoes alone or mix and match them with any other veggies you like.
A small salad with vinegar and salt
Salads are always a good idea, but they become even better when you serve them alongside jerk chicken. If you’re serving this as an entree, you can either make a simple salad or go all out and make a salad that incorporates your favorite veggies. There are endless ways to mix and match veggies to create your own salad. Here are a couple of ideas. – Add some tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. – Add cilantro, green onions, and olives. – Combine fresh tomatoes and avocados. – Add lettuce and cucumber. – Add avocados, tomatoes, and peanuts. – Add carrots, apples, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. – Add some beans, seeds, nuts, or sprouts for protein. – Add your favorite seasonings for the perfect balance of flavors.
A little fruit for color and flavor
Fruits are naturally sweet, juicy, and naturally sweet. So, when you serve them with jerk, you get a sweet and sour flavor profile that is incredibly unique. While oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are deliciously sweet, you can also try other fruits like apples, pomegranates, kiwis, and avocados. There are endless possibilities with fruits. Try serving your fruit with your jerk chicken to make it a complete meal. For example, you can pair your juicy grapefruit with spicy jerk chicken and your sweet pomegranate with sweet and sour pork. You get the idea.
Black beans or pinto beans
Black beans are a great source of protein and fiber and make for a soothing, cooling side dish. You can eat them alone or serve them with your jerk. Try pairing your black beans with your jerk chicken, subbing out the pork for the chicken in your pork ribs recipe, and changing up your seasonings to make them more palate-friendly.
A serving of white rice to soak up the juices
If you’re serving pork ribs as your main dish, you can skip this step and just serve them as a side dish. But, if you’re serving this as a meal, you’ll want to soak the rice in the pork juices. This step helps the grains absorb the excess juices, making your meal more nutritious. If you’re not a huge fan of pork ribs, you can try making your own version using pork shoulder or even remove the bones and keep the meat for a different recipe. Just be careful not to eat the bones — they contain a ton of collagen and will harden if cooked for a long period of time.
Throw in some fresh herbs before eating
Herbs are a great addition to any meal, but when you’re serving jerky as an appetizer, you don’t want to waste any of them. So, before eating your jerk, sprinkle some fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil on your salad or plate. This will give your meal a boost of flavor and make you feel satisfied longer.
The best thing — no need to make any adjustments
When you serve this dish as an appetizer, you don’t have time to adjust the taste or the ingredients. So, feel free to use your favorite parts from different meats to make your jerky more exciting. If you’re a meat-only kind of person, try pairing your pork with cilantro and/or Thai basil. If you’ve got some veggies in your garage, feel free to mix and match them with your favorite parts from different vegetables.
Side dishes are a must
If you’re feeling particularly fancy, side your pork with a side of French fries, potato chips, or even a popsicle. These will help balance the heat in your system and make your day a little less boring.
A healthy side
When you have time, a side salad is a great way to up your healthy intake. For example, add Swiss chard or spinach to your salad and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. Or, try serving your salad with avocado, nuts, seeds, or seeds and beans.
A complete meal in itself
Finally, don’t forget to eat dessert! If you’re serving this as a dessert, pair it with small nuts or berries for a balanced, healthy dessert. Here are a couple of ideas: – add walnuts or almonds to your chocolate cake for an added boost of protein – serve your Nutella sandwiches with fresh fruit for a balanced, healthy dessert – pair your savory snacks with a sweet treat for an even healthier meal
Final thoughts: What to serve with jerk chicken?
Jerk is a tried-and-true food from the Caribbean that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. The possibilities are almost endless with the right ingredients and techniques. So, don’t be afraid to try a new side dish with your pork. If you’ve made it this far, you should probably start making some jerk. Not only will it make your life a little easier, but it will also help you learn some new recipes and expand your horizons as a cook. So, go on, make some jerk! You won’t be sorry.