Homemade is Better—Shredded Jerk Seasoned Chicken Tacos

Homemade is Better—Shredded Jerk Seasoned Chicken Tacos

There is probably a shirt out there somewhere that says, “Either you like tacos, or you’re wrong!” I have one with that saying about bacon, so I’m sure a taco one exists.

This recipe is a fusion chicken taco recipe between Caribbean jerk seasoning and Mexican tacos.  This chicken is not a traditional jerked chicken because when I was looking for our taco seasoning and couldn’t find it, I decided to use our jerk seasoning instead.  It’s a little spicier but so good!  We call it James’s Jerk Seasoning, after our son.

Considering how close these regions are, the jerk’s flavour is still unique, but one can tell where there is some Spanish influence in the area.  Both Mexico and the Caribbean share some similarities in their influences.  Spain is the common denominator for them, while the Caribbean also has Dutch, African, French, Indian, and other diverse influences.  Mexico is more native and Spanish influence.  Both regions consume a variety of meats, but chicken is used consistently in each area.  Since these regions share some relation, it’s not a surprise that one can fusion some of the foods together.

We also made our corn tortillas for this recipe.  I buy a premix from my local grocer called Maseca, and it has directions for how to make their tortillas.  Our youngest loves making tortillas, so I enlisted her to help.

She flattened them and put them on the griddle, and I cooked them and removed them.  If you don’t have a device to flatten tortillas, you can just use a rolling pin.  Store-bought is ok too, but I highly recommend you find a Latin store and get corn tortillas from them.  Our local grocer has a decent product, so we buy those when we don’t want to make our own.

This dish is meant to a quick and easy Taco Tuesday recipe, so do what makes you happy.  Make your own, or buy them, don’t feel guilty!  Just enjoy the food you eat.

Shredded Jerk Seasoned Chicken Tacos


2 tbsp canola oil
Corn tortillas (we made some using Maseca masa flour mix)
~1 lb b/s chicken thighs
2 tbsp James’s Jerk Seasoning (recipe to follow)
Pico de Gallo or another salsa
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar
Shredded head lettuce
Diced tomatoes

  • To make tortillas as we did, follow the directions on one bag of Maseca tortillas. Otherwise, store-bought is ok, but get corn for this.
  • Heat an ovenproof frying pan over high heat and turn on your oven to 350F.
  • Liberally season your chicken thighs on both sides.
  • Add canola oil to the hot pan and ensure it coats the bottom by swirling it slowly.
  • Add the chicken smooth side down.
  • Sear until they easily release. No, it won’t burn; we’ve discussed this in a previous article.
  • Once the chicken releases, flip it over and sear the other side.
  • Put the frying pan into the oven if it is all metal; otherwise, once the chicken releases easily from the frying pan, move it to an ovenproof dish and bake until it reaches 170F.
  • Allow the chicken to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Using a couple of forks, shred the chicken. Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer, you can use the paddle attachment and break the chicken up over medium speed.
  • Transfer to a bowl, and chow down!!

James’s Jerk Seasoning


2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Mix everything in a jar or container.
  • Write this recipe on a card, then tape it to the jar, so you remember how to make this in the future.
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