Sunday, 18 September 2011

Jerk Chicken

A Picnic Twist

For those of you who read my post on my amazing
Jamaican BBQ.
back in June you'll already be familiar with my love of all things Jerk. I have eaten many variations of Jerk Chicken and Pork and have long been searching for a fail-proof recipe, I've tried several but something has always been lacking.
For the recent bank holiday I headed to Brighton for a couple of days with three friends and it was our intention to take a picnic for the first days lunch, each taking something different. I decided I was determined to find a good recipe for Jerk.

After a little Twitter-hunt (as you do) I quickly learned from @tehbus that @FoodStories is, in his words, The Queen of Jerk. Reading her recipe - I thought the inclusion of molasses or sugar was genius - the perfect addition to create sticky sweetness, that has been missing in all other attempts.

However this recipe was missing Soy Sauce which I've seen included in all others including family friends who refuse to divulge their recipes- so I bookmarked Food Stories and carried on my research - disregarding many recipes, I liked one I found here on Jamaica Travel and Culture. With a combination of the two - plus an added ingredient of my own - I came up with what has been my most triumphant Jerk ever - it really was superb, and I'm looking forward to creating again soon.

With thanks to Food Stories and the Jamaica Travel and Culture website for helping me to achieve food heaven - recipe below.

8x Pieces of Chicken on the bone (I prefer legs for this
6 Sliced Scotch Bonnet Chillies (deseeded~)
8 Garlic Cloves
3 Onions, chopped finely
2 Tbsp Thyme
100g Brown Sugar
25-50g Grated Ginger (can use dried)
3 Cloves, ground
1 Tsp Allspice
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp All Purpose Seasoning
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 3 Limes
1 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Put all marinade ingredients into a blender/food processor and blitz until it becomes a rather unattractive looking brown mulch. Place chicken pieces into a marinade bag or dish and cover entirely in marinade. Wear plastic gloves and rub chicken all over on all sides so it's completely immersed.

Cover with tin foil - and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours - 24 is better. Be warned the scent isn't the best in the fridge while this marinates - so try not to have too much in there that this might interfere with.

Once ready to cook - remove chicken pieces and place in an ovenproof dish - removing excess marinade but leaving each piece coated.

Place in a pre-heated over at around 180D and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove and check chicken is cooked (pierce with a knife or skewer and ensure the juices run clear) - if not return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes or until cooked.

For our picnic I cooled this and served with cooled basmati rice flavoured with lots of chopped Coriander - but this would work just as well with Mint too.

Tip: Use plastic gloves when chopping ingredients as the Scotch Bonnets are incredibly hot.

This worked perfectly as a alternative cold picnic dish - however the other, more traditional way to have this which is also gorgeous - is served hot from the oven with delicious 'Rice and Pea'. I've also made this and the method is simple. Just cook your preferred rice (I normally use Basmati) in Coconut Milk instead of water - season and add the 'pea' element, kidney beans, about half way through cooking. Drain and serve - delicious.

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