Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Flavor Fusion: Jerk Chicken and Plantains Coco Bread Rolls

 The Flavor Fusion: Jerk Chicken and Plantains Coco Bread Rolls

Jerk chicken and plantains coco bread rolls are a mouth-watering fusion of Caribbean flavors and culinary innovation. These rolls blend the robust spices of jerk chicken with the sweetness of plantains, all encased in the soft, slightly sweet coco bread. Let's explore the rich history and vibrant flavors of this delectable dish, as well as how to make it at home.

The History of Jerk Chicken

Jerk chicken is a cornerstone of Jamaican cuisine, renowned for its fiery and aromatic spices. The technique of jerking meat originated with the Maroons, enslaved Africans who escaped to the mountains of Jamaica. They preserved their food using a mixture of spices, including allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers, and cooked it slowly over pimento wood, infusing the meat with a distinctive smoky flavor. Over time, this method became a beloved staple in Jamaican households and a symbol of the island’s rich culinary heritage.

Plantains: The Sweet Complement

Plantains, a starchy relative of bananas, are a versatile ingredient in Caribbean cooking. Unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before eating, and their flavor changes depending on their ripeness. Green plantains are starchy and savory, while ripe plantains are sweet and caramelize beautifully when fried. Their sweet, tender texture pairs perfectly with the spicy kick of jerk chicken, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

Coco Bread: The Caribbean’s Soft, Sweet Delight

Coco bread is a soft, slightly sweet bread made with coconut milk, giving it a rich, tender crumb. It’s a popular accompaniment to many Caribbean dishes, particularly those with bold, spicy flavors. The coconut milk adds a subtle sweetness that complements both savory and sweet fillings, making it the perfect vessel for our jerk chicken and plantains combo.

Creating Jerk Chicken and Plantains Coco Bread Rolls


For the Jerk Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the Plantains:

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the Coco Bread:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Prepare the Jerk Chicken:

    • In a bowl, mix the jerk seasoning, minced garlic, thyme, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and vegetable oil.
    • Add the chicken thighs, ensuring they are well-coated with the marinade. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
    • Preheat the grill or oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes, until fully cooked and slightly charred. Let it rest before slicing it into thin strips.
  2. Cook the Plantains:

    • Peel and slice the plantains into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
    • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the plantains and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
    • Sprinkle with brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook for an additional minute, allowing the sugar to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Make the Coco Bread:

    • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
    • In a separate bowl, mix coconut milk, water, and melted butter. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
    • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Punch down the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk.
    • Place the disks on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.
  4. Assemble the Rolls:

    • Slice each coco bread roll in half horizontally.
    • Layer slices of jerk chicken and caramelized plantains on the bottom half of each roll. Top with the other half of the roll.

Serving Suggestions

These rolls are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, with the warm, spicy jerk chicken and sweet plantains nestled in the soft coco bread. For an extra touch, serve with a side of creamy coleslaw or a tangy mango salsa to complement the flavors.



Jerk chicken and plantains coco bread rolls are a celebration of Caribbean cuisine, bringing together the spicy, sweet, and savory in one delicious bite. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a culinary adventurer, this dish offers a delightful taste of the islands that’s sure to impress and satisfy. Enjoy this vibrant fusion of flavors and let it transport you to the sunny shores of the Caribbean.


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