Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Deep Fried Shoestring Sweet Potatoes

I spent last week up in snowy, icy Wisconsin and when I got back this weekend, I wanted to eat something tropical to shake off the winter grays.  I decided on jerk chicken because Jamaica's most famous dish warms you up with spicy chiles and warm, earthy spices like allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Grill Dome jerk chicken, kamado jerk chicken, big green egg jerk chicken

The shoestring sweet potatoes not only pair perfectly with the jerk flavors, they also add texture to offset the creamy cilantro avocado slaw.  The slaw might be in a bowl like a side dish but you know that I'm going to put that on the sandwich, right?

The jerk marinade (recipe) that we use is one that we found online years ago and have been very happy with it.  It packs a lot of POW into the chicken, not just heat.  I like 1 1/2 to 2 habanero chiles in it but adjust to your liking.  Once you put all of the ingredients into a blender it comes out a little thinner than but just as flavorful as the popular Walkerswood jerk seasoning (mild).

This marinade works great whether used chunky or blended into a smoother texture.  Traditionally, we like it best on bone in chicken thighs but it works on chicken breasts, like this, too.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Shoestring Sweet Potatoes

Published 01/31/2016


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied
  • 1 cup jerk marinade (homemade or commercial)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • pinch ground ancho chile
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 package coleslaw vegetables mix
  • 1 cup avocado cilantro yogurt dressing (homemade or commercial)
  • 4 buns, split and toasted


  1. Marinate the chicken in the marinade 8-12 hours.
  2. Mix the dressing and coleslaw mix together and refrigerate.
  3. Mix together the salt, sugar, chile, and cinnamon for the sweet potato seasoning.
  4. Preheat your grill to 350-400°f and preheat your deep fryer or oil in pan to 350°f. 
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off the excess, and place on your hot and clean grill grates.  Cook until they reach an internal temperature of 160°f degrees, about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Make the shoestring potatoes.  Finely shred or spiralize the sweet potatoes into threads.  Deep fry in oil at 350°f until crisped, about 30 seconds.  Remove to a resting rack and immediately season with the salt, sugar, chile, and cinnamon.  
  7. Place the chicken breasts on the bun bottom halves and top with the crispy sweet potatoes.  Serve the slaw on the side so the potatoes don't get soggy but you definitely want a spoonful or two of the slaw in the sandwich.  It's a rockstar. 
Yield: 4

cold weather grilling, snow grilling, winter grilling
Obligatory snow shot of my GrillDome.  This was before I left for Wisconsin.

vacuum marinator
I used our Foodsaver vacuum marinator.  Do they really draw the marinade into the meat faster or better?  I don't know, I doubt the pores of the meat open up or anything.  But we already have had it for a few years so I might as well use it.

GrillGrates for kamado
I used my GrillGrates for this cook because it focuses that searing lump coal's ripping energy into a great blend of conductive heat (for sear marks) and infrared heat (for juicy chicken).  Grill Dome carries a custom fit set of these.

GrillGrates for kamado grills, best grilling accessory
This is what my GrillGrates look like brand new (back in 2011), before I got them"heavily seasoned".

I like to preheat and stabilize my kamado grill before I put the GrillGrates on because it has been my experience that they throw off the dome thermometer reading (to the low side). 

best grill accessory, grilling gift ideas
Even though the dome temp is 350f, you can see the GrillGrates are cranking away at just under 600f.  

jerk chicken recipe, foodsaver accessory
You could also just marinate these in a shallow dish or a zip top plastic bag.  

Kamado jerk chicken, Grill Dome jerk chicken, BGE jerk chicken
Great sear marks but the chicken stays nice and juicy.  

shredded sweet potato,
We bought a Spiroooli spiralizer but the handle broke in two places before we used it 3 times. Got some great recommendations for the KitchenAid attachment so we have ordered that. A plane old grater would work just fine but I like gadgets.

The GrillGrates also make it a little easier to toast your buns without burning them.  Not that is a difficult task or anything, 

Toasting buns not only adds texture to your sandwich, it adds another layer of flavor too.  
With the avocado cilantro slaw added on top and it all smashed down, this sandwich is one of my favorites.  It ranks right up there with a pulled pork sandwich, Kentucky Hot Brown, Croque madam,  and a BLT.
Speaking of favorites, this reminds me of - "The jerk store called and they're running out of you!"