Jock Zonfrillo’s (Orana, Bistro Blackwood) local take on jerk chicken (roast chook dry-rubbed or marinated with hot spices) debuted at wine and food festival Rootstock last month. The barbequed birds, brushed with a sauce of native herbs and spices, were cooked for three hours over flames in a four-tiered fire pit. We don’t want you hunched over the coals for that long. We’ve all got things to do. So here’s an adapted version, courtesy of the chef, to help you elevate your summer barbeque.

Jerk Chicken

1 chicken, butterflied
Jerk sauce

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For the jerk sauce:
1 tbsp dorrigo pepper (find it at Tumbella Native Bush Foods)
1 tbsp mountain pepper (find it at A Taste of the Bush)
3 tbsp brown onion
125ml oil
3 tbsp green curry paste
2 tbsp yellow curry paste
300g chilli
200ml sherry vinegar
3 tbsp honey
100g Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
200ml cornichon pickle liquid only
5 lemon myrtle leaves
15 aniseed myrtle leaves
30g oyster mushrooms
2 tbsp Dijon
250ml lime juice
250ml lemon juice

Heat oil in pan over low heat. Add onion and peppers, sweat for 10 mins (use the peppers sparingly – they have intense and spicy flavours. Alternatively you can substitute with eith​e​r szechuan or traditional pepper).

Add curry paste and cook on low heat to sweat for 5–10 minutes. Add chilli, vinegar, honey and Worcestershire sauce and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.

In a separate pan, bring pickle liquid and myrtle leaves to the boil. Brew for 2–3 minutes then strain leaves and add liquid to curry sauce. Cook for 15 mins. Add mushrooms, Dijon, and lemon and lime juice. Reduce by half and remove from heat.

Rub marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Heat a chargrill pan (or barbeque) over medium to high heat. Add chicken and chargrill skin-side down until crisp, around 15 minutes. Flip and chargrill until cooked through, 10–15 minutes.