Home » 5th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #2 – Jamaican Jerk Chili + Weekly Menu

5th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #2 – Jamaican Jerk Chili + Weekly Menu

Jamaican Jerk Chili 1

My best friend planned much of our baby shower and she did a great job. She doesn’t think she’s a good planner (I still to this day hear how she thinks she was a bad maid of honor – couldn’t be further from the truth!), but she always knocks everything she does out of the park. I mean check out the centerpieces she made. And really, that photo does them no justice – her photo was way better.

I was curious to see what “games”, if any, she’d have us play and when she told Mr. Prevention to come prepared to interact, I knew it’d be fun. She had made a mustache (representing Mr. P) and a set of bright red lips (representing me) for each of us, that were glued to popsicle sticks to easily hold in the air. She asked the shower attendees to guess a number (up to 27, I think it was…) of how many answers Mr. P and I would agree on. He and I were not allowed to see the others’ responses nor did anyone know what the questions would be about…other than the baby, parenting, etc.

Jamaican Jerk Chili 2

Some of the questions were really cute and the crowd’s reactions generally gave away how our answers differed.

One of the questions was who’s athletic ability we hope Shea gets – we both said ourselves. 😉

One question was on who would stay up waiting for Shea to get home from her first date – we both said ourselves. 😉

Another question had to do with who would be more of a disciplinarian to Shea – we both said Mr. P 😉

One of my favorite questions had to do with which parent would be more insistent on Shea attending the University of Illinois and we both emphatically agreed…me. I say emphatically because my red set of lips shot up quickly and the crowd laughed and nodded along with the motion.

Jamaican Jerk Chili 3

And it’s true. I LOVE my alma mater. Being back on campus for a football game this year has been the highlight of the month, for sure. Especially since, you know, we won!! And we’ve won 3 out of 4 games so far this year. Our one loss was to Washington last week which was disappointing, yes…but also somewhat expected.

The loss was easier to absorb given that I spent quite a bit of time preparing this chili. Stacey has entered my chili contest every year (right, Stacey?!) and won my chili contest, too. The girl is not only one of my most loyal, long-time readers, but also someone I call my friend…and like myself, a total foodie at heart. The girl knows her food and by this point, I think she knows exactly what I love. And this chili hit the mark, spot on.

Mr. Prevention’s nose was beyond confused as I was whipping up this chili, but he complimented it up and down. It doesn’t taste like traditional chili in any way, shape, or form, but it has all the necessary components of chili – tomato, bean, spice! It was spicy, earthy, meaty, sweet…the flavors ran DEEP. This non-traditional entry will be hard to beat. Thanks, Stacey!

Jamaican Jerk Chili 4

5.0 from 3 reviews
Jamaican Jerk Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 (about 1 cup chili over ¾ cup rice with 2 tablespoons mango salsa)
Recipe submitted (by Stacey) to the Rocket City Chili Cookoff and took 2nd place in the "Anything Goes" category and won People's Choice!
Mango Salsa
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
Caribbean Coconut Rice:
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 oz) cans light coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lime
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
Jamaican Jerk Chili:
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ⅓ cup jerk seasoning, divided
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, minced
  • 1½ tsp all-spice
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 (15 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans no added salt red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  1. To make the salsa: Combine ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for several hours in the fridge, allowing the flavors to marry.
  2. To make the rice: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and cinnamon stick, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice, and sauté 2 minutes, or until rice grains are opaque. Add coconut milk, water, sugar, salt, lime zest, and white pepper; bring to a simmer. Stir once, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes (adjust cook time according to directions on rice packaging). Fluff rice with fork, cover, and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. To make the chili: Rub all but 2 tablespoons of jerk seasoning over surface of chicken on all sides. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool to touch. Dice or shred using 2 forks and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pot. Once hot, add onion and bell peppers. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, scotch bonnet/habanero, all-spice, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder; stir continuously for 30-60 seconds. Add the molasses, liquid smoke, tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
  5. Add diced/shredded chicken and cook for 15 minutes longer.
  6. To serve, place rice on bottom of bowl. Cover with chili and top with a dollop of mango salsa.
Recipe submitted by Stacey M.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup chili over ¾ cup rice w/ mango salsa Calories: 491 Fat: 11.0 Carbohydrates: 68.3 Sugar: 15.4 Sodium: 844 Fiber: 8.0 Protein: 31.3 Cholesterol: 47.0

 Weekly Menu: September 21st – 25th

Donna is coming over for brunch today and I hope to continue catching up with my Kindle 🙂

19 days until my due date! 😀 I’m getting incredibly, incredibly anxious to meet our daughter…no words!

Be well,


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  1. tim nona
    September 21, 2014 / 9:53 am

    please clarify what I hope is a severe misprint on the sodium content of of 8444 mg, which is pretty much 6 days worth of sodium allotment

    • Nicole Morrissey
      September 21, 2014 / 1:05 pm

      Hi Tim, thanks for catching that typo. It is 844 milligrams…still not low, but certainly not 8,444! Thanks again!

  2. Biz
    September 21, 2014 / 10:32 am

    I like spicy, but habaneros are just a tad too spicy for me – love the look of this chili though! 19 days – ah!! I can’t wait to see what she looks like too. 😀

    Enjoy your brunch!

  3. Anastasia
    September 21, 2014 / 1:15 pm

    What? What?!? Really??!!! Must make this RIGHT now!!!!

    How do you always do this to me? I now have way too many “go to” chill recipes in my collection! There are not enough dinners in a year to keep up. I will need to start having it for breakfast!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      September 21, 2014 / 2:08 pm

      🙂 Weeeelll…chili for breakfast sounds brilliant to me! I actually gave some chili from this week to a friend and she said, “I’ll be eating this for dinner and breakfast!” But…she eats anything any time of day 😉

  4. Rachael@AnAvocadoADay
    September 21, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    Ohh love this! What a unique twist!

  5. Dianne
    September 22, 2014 / 8:19 am

    Not sure where this would fit in my diabetic diet with the high carb count! And sodium is over the moon! But I may have to try this anyway….love chili. 🙂

  6. Stacey
    September 22, 2014 / 11:06 am

    So glad you two LOVED it! 🙂

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  8. Biz
    September 22, 2014 / 5:38 pm

    Do you know what your camera settings are for the pics above? ISO/shutter speed, etc.? Just wondering! 😀

    • Nicole Morrissey
      September 22, 2014 / 7:29 pm

      Biz, it was 200 ISO, 1/125 exposure time, and f/5.6 on my 50mm f/1.8. Hopefully I pulled those numbers right…I’m photog dumb 🙁

      • Biz
        September 23, 2014 / 4:58 pm

        Thanks Nicole! 😀

  9. Sam
    July 20, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    You say to use all but two tablespoons of the jerk seasoning on the chicken, but then never say to do with the two remaining tablespoons. What do?

    • Nicole Morrissey
      July 22, 2015 / 10:14 pm

      Save for another recipe 🙂

  10. JB
    February 1, 2016 / 10:08 am

    I made this for my company Chili Cook Off and won first place!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      February 1, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      Woo! I’ll let the recipe owner know as well – how cool!! 🙂

  11. Kay Pea
    March 7, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    I tried this today, but I made it in my Instant Pot and used dried beans and chicken leg quarters. I was hesitant to use the whole habanero, but decided to live dangerously. Whooooo mouth on fire! I like the flavors, though.

    Thanks for sharing?

  12. Red
    February 20, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    Just made this recipe and it is amazing! I used ground chicken and a store bought jer seasoning blend. I halted the recipe and it came out perfect.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      February 21, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, Red!!

  13. Mike
    March 14, 2018 / 9:13 am

    Being a lover of Jamaican Jerk and Caribbean flavors, I was so happy to find this recipe. I’ve also now entered it in two different chili cook-offs with two different departments last year and most recently yesterday and both times it has won 2nd place, only missing tying with 1st by 1 vote (there were 10+ chili entries in yesterday’s contest too)!! For those thinking the Habanero adds a lot of heat, either my taste buds are burnt off or the heat is actually reduced during the cooking process. Also, to reduce the heat provided by this fantastic pepper, remove the placenta and seeds. I end up adding two to three minced Habaneros instead of just the one to this recipe. Wish I could find Scotch Bonnets locally here in Michigan but I guess we’re too far from the islands.

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  15. Buddy
    January 22, 2019 / 8:11 pm

    I entered this chili in a local chili contest and took 1st in category and 2nd overall. (The chili purists…..pfft). Only minor adjustment made was I used a Caribbean jerk seasoning with Papya juice instead of Jamaican. I thought it had a more round flavor.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      January 23, 2019 / 11:36 am

      Hi Buddy! Your comment was hilarious – chili purists LOL! This was a fantastic recipe – love the spin you put on it! 🙂 Cheers!

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