Monday, April 29, 2013

Jerk Chicken with Plantain Chips & Salad

I've done a couple different variations of this recipe at home now and still haven't gotten it perfected but it's still awesome and a really quick and easy way to get some Caribbean flavors in your belly.  This version isn't too hot even though it has two habaneros because de-seeding them takes out most of the heat.  So if you like a hotter meal, only de-seed one of the peppers or if you like nuclear heat, don't de-seed at all.

I served this with a simple fresh salad and some fried plantain chips on the side to try and stick to the Caribbean theme but when I went to make my mango salad I discovered that my mango was no good and so I substituted an apple and a fresh tomato that I had making it decidedly less Caribbean but still pretty tasty.

To go with this recipe I went for some Lagwagon, Falling Apart, since they are one of our favorites in this house and we have yet to feature them in a post.  Shocking!  Not sure how they slipped under our radar but no longer will they escape this blog!


Jerk Chicken
Time: Marinade - 15 minutes, Chicken - 25 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8+
  • 2 habanero peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium yellow onion, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger 
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Now, the marinade part is simple.  Throw all of the above in a blender or food processor and let her rip till at all blends into a smooth homogenous mixture, a couple of minutes ought to do.  When everything is all chopped, blended, liquified, and incorporated, simply toss your chicken in a container with the mix and let it marinade for at least overnight, but the longer you let it go, the better it gets.  I usually let it sit for 24 hours.  Anything over 48 hrs is not going to do much for you.

Note: If you are only making enough to serve 2-3 people, halve the marinade recipe as this easily makes enough to cover 8+ pieces of chicken.

When you are ready to do up the chicken you have a couple of options.  Tradition dictates that the chicken be cooked in a halved oil drum over hard wood charcoal but any grill would do as I know no one who grills in a halved oil drum outside of the Caribbean.  However, we simply baked ours off in the oven, since it wasn't grilling weather and I wanted jerk chicken.  450 for 30 minutes will do if you are doing legs and thighs and if you want some of that charred grilled quality to it, toss under the broiler for a few minutes after baking.

Fresh Salad
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt & pepper to taste
The salad is everything listed above, just tossed together and served on the side.  It's a light, refreshing accompaniment to the spicy, savory chicken and the starchy, salty plantain chips.

Plantain chips are also easy if you'd like to try those.  Get a hold of a couple of plantains at the market and slice the skins off since they don't peel very easily.  I follow the edges of the peel, they have 3, with the tip of a paring knife and then take off the ends.  After that treatment they peel fairly easily.  Slice them into 2 inch thick rounds and fry them in oil for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the oil and drain them.  Smash the rounds flat using the bottom of a coffee mug or something equally wide and hard.  Fry them again in the oil for another 2 minutes, remove and drain.  Salt liberally and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment