Jamaican

Jerk Chicken

Caribbean jerk chicken full of flavor and and a good amount of heat, using habaneros (or scotch bonnet chili peppers) and allspice. Make jerk chicken in oven or grill.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

What is Jerk Chicken?

Do you like heat? As in chili heat? If you do, then jerk chicken is made for you.

Jerk chicken is how they like to cook chicken in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. Jerk seasoning is based on two main ingredients—Scotch Bonnet chili peppers (or habaneros) and allspice.

Jerk Chicken Tip

Scotch bonnet and habanero chili peppers are HOT. As in be-really-careful hot, and as for goodness sake do not touch your eyes or anything sensitive after handling them hot.

The following jerk chicken recipe isn’t blazing hot, but it is still plenty spicy, and great the next day in a chicken salad. Serve it with black beans and rice (to spread out the heat) and a very large glass of cold beer. You can choose to make jerk chicken in the oven, or make grilled jerk chicken.

Do you have a favorite jerk seasoning recipe? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Safety note! Scotch Bonnet and Habanero chile peppers are very hot and can cause extreme pain if they come in contact with your eyes. I strongly recommend wearing protective gloves while handling the chilies and the jerk paste.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 green onion tops, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 (5 or 6 pound) roasting chicken, cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1 Make jerk marinade: Put the vinegar, rum, hot peppers, onion, green onion tops, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses into a blender. Pulse until mostly smooth.

2 Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a large freezer bag, or in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well.

Rub the jerk paste over the chicken pieces and coat well (it helps to use gloves!). Seal the bag or cover the chicken in the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

3 Remove chicken, simmer marinade: When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken from the marinade bag or pan. Put the remaining marinade into a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken.

If you want you can reserve a little of the marinade (once boiled for 10 minutes since it has been in contact with raw chicken) to serve with the chicken or to mix with some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce for a serving sauce.

4a Grilling Method
Preheat grill to medium high. Sprinkle chicken halves with salt and pepper. Place chicken halves, skin side down on the grill grates. Cover. Cook for about 40-50 minutes, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken halves are cooked through.

The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165°F for the breast and 170°F for the thigh when checked with a meat thermometer.

Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

4b Oven Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken halves in a rimmed baking pan, skin side up. Roast until chicken halves are cooked through, about 40-50 minutes.

The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, or a meat thermometer reads about 165°F for the breast and 170°F for the thigh.

Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

Cut chicken into pieces. Serve with black beans and rice.

Recipe adapted from several sources, including Bon Appetit magazine.

Posted by gen_gen - 2019 at 

Categories: Jamaican   Tags: , , ,

Jamaican Goat Curry

Slow-cooked, falling-off-the-bone tender goat stew in a Jamaican curry with allspice.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serve 8-12

Goat meat is the best! Please welcome Hank Shaw as he takes us through a wonderfully spicy way to prepare goat. ~Elise

“What are we going to do with this goat?” Elise asked. Her acupuncturist Steve had given her an entire front shoulder of a goat from a local farm.

Why not goat curry? It was one of my favorite Jamaican foods growing up in New Jersey, along with those awesome meat patties the street hawkers would sell on corners in New York City. Rich, filling and spicy, goat curry (often made with beef back then, when goat was a little harder to find in NYC) was just as good on a hot day as a cold one.

Turns out this is one of the great dishes of Jamaica, along with jerk chicken. No matter which meat you use, the long-simmered stew makes great use of tough cuts of meat, or those with bones in them. Definitely use goat if you can find it – look in ethnic markets, especially a halal market if your town has one – but the dish works fine with lamb, too. Substitute beef if you’d rather.

You need to know that Jamaican curry powder is different from Indian curries, although they tend to have most of the same ingredients: turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard, cayenne and the like. Jamaican curry is heavier on the allspice, so if you cannot find the real stuff, mix in some allspice with regular curry powder.

Is this stew spicy? You bet, but it’s not so fiery as you might think. We used one habanero chile, and I could barely detect the heat – although Elise could taste it. If you are into hot food, you could use as many as 4-5 habaneros here.

Time is your friend with goat curry. While it’s good freshly made, the stew deepens over time and is actually better several days afterward. It will last for a week or so in the fridge, so make a batch big enough to feed the Jamaican bobsled team and eat it for your lunches during the week.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6-8 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp allspice (see step 1)
  • 3 pounds goat (can use lamb or beef if you can’t find goat)
  • Salt
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • A 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 15-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6-8 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp allspice (see step 1)
  • 3 pounds goat (can use lamb or beef if you can’t find goat)
  • Salt
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • A 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 15-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

Method

1 Make the curry powder: If you can find Jamaican curry powder, definitely use it. If not, use regular curry powder and add the allspice to it. You will need at least 6 tablespoons of spices for this stew, and you can kick it up to 8-9 depending on how spicy you like it.

2 Cut and salt the goat meat: Cut the meat into large chunks, maybe 2-3 inches across. If you have bones, you can use them, too. Salt everything well and set aside to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

3 Heat the curry powder in oil: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the curry powder and heat until fragrant.

4 Brown meat in curried oil: Pat the meat dry and brown well in the curried oil. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the pot. It will take a while to do this, maybe 30 minutes or so. Set the browned meat aside in a bowl. (When all the meat is browned, if you have bones, add them and brown them, too.)

5 Cook onions, habanero, ginger, garlic: Add the onions and habanero to the pot and sauté, stirring from time to time, until the onions just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over them as they cook. Add the ginger and garlic, mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

Put the meat (and bones, if using) back into the pot, along with any juices left in the bowl. Mix well.

6 Add coconut milk, tomatoes, curry powder, water, thyme, then simmer: Pour in the coconut milk and tomatoes and 5 tablespoons of the curry powder. Stir to combine. If you are using 2 cans of coconut milk, add 3 cups of water. If you’re only using 1 can, add 4 cups of water. Add the thyme.

Bring to a simmer and let it cook until the meat is falling-apart tender, which will take at least 2 hours. Longer if you have a mature goat.

7 Add potatoes: Once the meat is close to being done – tender but not falling apart yet – Add the potatoes and mix in. The stew is done when the potatoes are. Taste for salt and add some if it needs it.

8 Skim fat: You might need to skim off the layer of fat at the top of the curry before serving. Do this with a large, shallow spoon, skimming into a bowl. Also, be sure to remove any bones before you serve the curry.

The stew is better the day after, or even several days after, the day you make it.

Serve with Jamaican rice and peas, a coconut rice with kidney beans.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Jamaican   Tags: ,

Coconut Rice and Beans

Long grain rice, cooked in coconut milk with beans, a favorite side dish of Jamaica.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

When doing research for our recent Jamaican goat curry recipe, what came up most often as an accompaniment was something those from Jamaica call “rice and peas”. (Several commenters suggested this dish too.)

Traditionally the “peas” are pigeon peas, often substituted with kidney beans (which is what we are using). The rice is cooked in coconut milk.

Oh my gosh. This is one of those I-can’t-wait-to-make-it-again dishes. Think of it as a Caribbean version of a Cajun red beans and rice.

Our version is a little different from the traditional rice and peas in that we sauté onion and garlic to start the recipe, then add a little fresh grated ginger for added zing.

Serve it with curry, roasted meats, jerk chicken or all by itself. The rice is especially good with a little lime juice sprinkled on to serve.

The chile is cooked whole with the rice and is there just for a bit of flavor. It doesn’t make the rice hot at all, as it stays whole and you discard it at the end.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile (can substitute a whole habanero)
  • Lime (optional)

Method

1 Sauté onions: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to brown on the edges.

2 Add garlic and rice: Add the garlic and rice, stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

3 Add remaining ingredients: Add the grated ginger, salt, water, stock and coconut milk and stir well. Add the kidney beans and sprinkle the thyme over everything. Add the whole Scotch bonnet chile (or habanero); it will season the rice much like a bay leaf would.

4 Cook: Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cover. The rice should be done in about 15-20 minutes, depending on the type of rice you are using (some long grained rice takes longer to cook). Check after 15 minutes.

5 Remove from heat, cover: Once done, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.

6 Serve: Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with a little lime juice if you want. Discard the habanero (or eat it, if you dare!)

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Jamaican   Tags: ,