Jerked: Heron Valley Jerk Chicken | Bleader

Jerked: Heron Valley Jerk Chicken


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Heron Valleys whole jerk chicken
Though dorm rooms and frat houses across the land will fumigate today in honor of Bob Marley's 67th birthday, I'm going to suggest an alternate ritual application of smoke: visit Roseland's Heron Valley Jerk Chicken.*

Jerk shacks come and go on the south side, but Heron Valley's been infusing allspice and chile-rubbed chicken, catfish, and shrimp with a righteous smoke for about four years on a stretch of 103rd Street temptingly close to Old Fashioned Donuts. Inside, a bulletproof barrier protects a chuffing barrel smoker that produces a tender, juicy bird, hacked and heaped in clamshell with a couple slices of dense hard-dough bread to mop the tangy jerk sauce—for a mere $10.

Additionally, there's the full array of Caribbean standards: curry goat, brown down stew, escoveitched snapper, calalloo, steamed cabbage, candied yams, and an oxtail dinner, nubbins of slow-cooked back meat dripping with peppered brown sauce that seeps into an ample bed of rice and peas. Outstanding value all around.

Heron Valley Jerk Chicken, 409 E. 103rd, 773-840-3470

*OK, breaux, I know—Marley was a plant eater. Let's not get hung up on it.