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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jerk Chicken Take 1



So, Shack and I have been living a little too large since spring. He has taken a ton of time off work to hang out with us and so there have been lots of lunches out and late night pizzas,  too many pub nights and lots of afternoon movies with huge buttered popcorns. Now, he has to go back to work and I have to make sure that I can still fit into actual pants by TIFF in September so we have spent the last 10 days going clean - no pasta, no pizza, no rice, no bread, no wings and poutine, no wine or beer. Somehow, we have managed to have lots of fun together and nobody is dying of malnutrition. HE, of course, has already dropped at least 12 lbs and looks much slimmer. I, on the other hand, have not lost one ounce although my mother in law told me that I look MUCH less bloated.
Thanks for that.



Because of this, I haven't posted in all of this time because we have been eating simple meals of grilled chicken or pork and variations of greek salad with quinoa, tatziki and grilled veggies. The Kid has been  away at camp so it's been easy to just totally lean it down but I am getting bored so today we are going to have jerk chicken and buttermilk coleslaw. I am sad that I cannot make rice and peas to go with it because I adore rice and peas but, as they would say in Jamaica if I were in Jamaica although if I were there they would think I was insane to voluntarily restrict my diet like this and would hold me down and force feed me some hard dough bread until I came to my senses....

soon come.

I used to have the best recipe for jerk - it was more of a paste than a marinade and although I remember most of the ingredients, I can longer remember the quantities so this is the first attempt at recreating it. Because I am using skinless meat I thought a more liquid marinade would work better. With a paste, you really work it in under the skin and it helps the skin get all crispy and delicious but without skin I think it's more important to keep the meat from drying out. I also left the scotch bonnet peppers out entirely to see if it could be tasty and mild at the same time because if I want everyone to eat it, it can't be scorching hot and those peppers are scorching hot.

Bottom line is that isn't going to be MY go to recipe for jerk as the flavours are too subtle and mild for me but it is tasty and it's a good introduction to jerk. The Neighbours, as it turns out, had never tasted jerk before and they loved it and would definitely make this all the time for themselves.

I will soldier on and keep tweeking until I can make it just right.



Jerk Chicken

1 shallot
5 green onions
2 cloves garlic
2" slice ginger
1 tbls whole allspice
1 tbls peppercorns
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmet
about 2 tbls fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tbls soy sauce
juice of one lime
juice of one orange

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


put all of that stuff in the blender and puree. Pour the marinade over your chicken, make sure it's evenly coated and put it in the fridge overnight (if you must you can do it first thing in the morning and let it sit all day but I wouldn't make it if I couldn't let it marinate at least all day)

If you are going to bbq the chicken, prepare your bbq like you always do. We use a charcoal grill so I like to toss a tbls or two of whole allspice (pimento) over the grill just before we put the chicken on.




If you don't have a bbq you can cook it in the oven too - 375F for about 40 minutes should do it. It won't have that nice smokiness but it will still be tasty