Savory Jerk Chicken, Sweet Chutney and Creamy Coleslaw; All held between Two Butter-Toasted Buns.
Yeah, I can hear Your Stomach Grumbling from here :P
On a Trip to Jamaica, I fell in love with the flavors of Caribbean Jerk Chicken. It just has something to it that You can't put your finger on. After I got back I tried for a number of year to re-create that Masterpiece. Finally, I have created a Dish that reminds me of those Sunny Beaches and Warm Breezes that I remember so long ago.
Ok, Enough of Poetry Class; Lets Cook !
Step 1: Chutney Time !
This is a Simple, Sweet, Chutney that goes well on Chicken or even Pork. Try adding 1-2 teaspoons of crushed chili flakes to give it some Heat !
Begin by Adding the following Ingredients to Your blender or food processor.
- 1 small can of Peaches in juice (not Syrup)
- 1 cup of Apricot Jelly ( or Peach / Mango)
Blend until most chunks are gone, then add in
- 1/4 cup chopped Onion
- 2 teaspoons minced Garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced Sushi Ginger (or fresh, minced)
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
Blend until Smooth and pour into a small saucepan. Reduce by 1/3 to 1/2. (this will take at least 30 min. I prefer to go slow and reduce by half over 2 Hours) Keep string it to avoid burning it.
When you are happy with the Thickness, add 1/4 cup of White or Apple Cider Vinegar.
Stir and Remove from heat. It will thicken more as it cools !
Step 2: Jerk Paste
Just like the Chutney, Add some crushed red chili flakes to give it a spicy kick ! You can also use the traditional Habanero or Scotch-Bonnet peppers too ! (Start with a little, you can add more later)
In Your Blender or Food possessor, Add
- 1 med Onion
- 1/2 finger on Ginger (Minced)
- 1 bunch of Green Onion (Chopped)
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
Blend until smooth before you and the remaining,
- 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup Fancy Molasses
- A few squirts of Worcestershire Sauce
- The Zest and Juice of a Orange and a Lime (Save the rinds and remaining pulp for Later)
Next Open a Large Zip-top bag and add the dry ingredients,
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Each of,
- Roasted, Granulated Garlic
- Onion Powder
And 1 teaspoon of ground Coriander.
Close the bag Tightly and give it a Good Shake. This blends the Spices into the Sugar and will help distribute them Evenly.
Add the Jerk Paste to the bag, close it up and mix by squeezing the bag.
Add your Chicken and the Orange/Lime rinds; Give it a good massage again.
Let Marinade overnight, or at least 6-8 Hours
Step 3: Some Quick Sides...
Grilled Pineapple and Potato Wedges. Yum Yum !
Quarter a Pineapple and rub some Brown Sugar and Cinnamon on it. Set aside for the Grill.
For the Wedges, Wash and scrub 3 russet potatoes. Cut each one into 10-12 wedges.
Toss in a Large bowl with a light coating of Vegetable oil and Your choice of,
- 2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Onion powder
- 2 teaspoons Thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside for the next step.
Step 4: Grill / Smoke or Bake
True Jamaican Jerk Chicken is Slow Smoked over a special type of wood called "Pimento wood"
It adds a level of Flavor that you just can't get without it !
If you can't find it locally, there is only really one place that sells it internationally.
But, there is a easier Solution ! Just add some Allspice to your Smoking chips. If you don't have a smoker, just use your BBQ like I did.
Make some smoke pouches by soaking wood chips (Apple, Hickory and/or Pecan) Drain then and roll them up in Foil. You can add Allspice and Garlic, like I did, if you wish !
Seal up the ends and poke some holes in it with a fork to let the smoke out as the wood smolders.
Be sure to Pre-Heat Your Grill and Oven !!
The Oven should be 450*F for the Wedges. The grill should be Med-High. (Add a smoke pouch under the grill while it heats up)
Start the Wedges first by placing the skin side down on a baking sheet. Bake them for about 30 min (Check with a knife to see when they are Tender) No need to turn or flip; Let them bake away ! Easy eh? :P
Add a second smoke pouch just before you start cooking. This one will keep burning while you cook !
With a Clean Preheated BBQ, rub some room temperature oil on it with a paper towel and add you room temperature Chicken on the grill at a 45* angle to the rails on the grill. 3-4 min later, If the chicken comes off the grill without sticking, turn them 90* to were they were before to leave a nice Crosshatch pattern on them. 3-4 min later flip them over and do the same prosess.
Treat the Pineapple the same way. After You sear both sides, Lay it Rind side down on the grill.
I Strongly Suggest using a digital thermometer to tell when the chicken reaches 165*F. Pull it off the grill and cover in foil to let it rest.
Turn the BBQ off and leave the Pinapple in there (Again Rind side down) as long as you close the lid it will contine to bake and become sweeter ! Pull it off Just before you serve.
Step 5: Toast Buns, Assemble, Enjoy :)
Almost there.... Hungry Yet? :P
These do really well with a lightly dressed coleslaw on top.
I like a simple "bag-o-slaw" from the store and one bunch of finely chopped Green Onions mixed in. Just go easy on the dressing. If you want to make your own, Just use 2-3 spoon fulls of Mayo, a tablespoon of Sugar a tablespoon of lemon Juice (plus Salt and Pepper to Taste)
I like to Toast these on a flat top, but a Oven works too !
Simply cut in half, butter or margarine, and toast until Golden Brown and Delicious :)
Spread the Chutney over the bottom bun, Add Chicken, Cover in Coleslaw and Top with another Bun.
Serve along side the Wedges, Pineapple and Your Favorite Beverage.
(Like My Jamaican Tropical Iced-Tea)<< Shameless self-promotion. I know :P
I really Hope You Enjoyed the Read. Feel free to leave a Comment or make it Yourself :)
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Good Cooking and Take Care !