Video: Robert Sietsema and the Jerk Chicken Man of Flatbush
Walk down parts of Flatbush Avenue and you'll be struck by the aroma of smoky, spicy jerk chicken from small shops along the street. Everyone has their favorite, and for food writer Robert Sietsema, Peppa's takes top marks. Over on Eater, Sietsema takes a look inside Peppa's jerk chicken operation—helmed by the duly nickname Peppa—and retraces the dish's steps back to African slaves who learned about jerking from the Arawak natives of the West Indies during the islands' colonial rule.
At Peppa's, the chicken is hacked up with a machete so a spice rub can penetrate the thicker parts of the meat. Quarters of bird are then washed in white vinegar, coated with a bright dry rub, and cooked hard and fast on a grill until the skin begins to blacken. (Peppa's fans note that the sauce is a must.) Take a look at the video below to see the jerking in action.