Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Grilled Jerk Chicken Skewers with Pineapple Salsa

Admittedly, this jerk spice rub cheats on a few items. The allspice should be whole berries, the cinnamon should be a stick, and the cloves should be whole (which they are, if you have them). Those items would then be smashed, pounded, ground in a spice mill—whatever it takes to create a granular rub to mix with the sugar, black pepper, and cayenne. If you can go that route, I recommend it.

On the other hand, this recipe is all about getting good jerk flavor in a simpler, more convenient way: store-bought ground spices. If you can, buy a little bit at a time from the bulk section of your market rather than in cans that sit on the shelf forever.

A fresh pineapple salsa kicks up the Caribbean pizazz even more. But again, if fresh pineapple is not in season in your part of the world, go with good-quality canned.

Note: You can grill the skewers directly on the grill, but I really like the Japanese method of grilling skewers on bricks, as described at Chicken Yakitori with Shiitakes and Scallions.

Serves 4


For the Chicken
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for rubbing
  • 8 3-oz chicken tenders
  • sea salt
Jerk Spices
For the Salsa
  • 1 cup small-chopped fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup small-chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
Small-Chopped Pineapple

For the Chicken
  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a small bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons of oil to form a thick slurry. Rub the spice slurry all over the chicken tenders, cover, and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
  2. Light a grill for medium-high heat. Wrap 2 bricks tightly in foil and place on the grill as noted in Chicken Yakitori with Shiitakes and Scallions.
  3. Season the chicken tenders with salt and thread 2 lengthwise on each of 4 skewers (soaked in water 30 minutes, if wood).
  4. Place the skewers on the bricks and grill the chicken, turning a few times, until lightly charred on all sides and cooked through, about 20 minutes total, depending on the thickness of the tenders.
Jerk Spice Slurry 
Jerk-Rubbed Chicken 
Skewered Chicken Tenders 
Skewers Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Skewers
Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve the salsa (recipe follows) in bowls alongside.

Grilled Jerk Chicken Skewers with Pineapple Salsa
For the Salsa
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes (or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours).
Pineapple Salsa


  1. I love your detailed directions - and I love jerk chicken! Thanks for sharing on the What's for Dinner link up!

  2. Congrats! You have been chosen as a feature on the next Peace, Love, Linkup! Grab an "I was Featured" button and stop by tomorrow at 6 to share more great content! Hope to see you again!