I love the flavors of good Caribbean food and the Jerk Seasoning in authentic cuisine is nothing like you can buy in a bottle. Although I must admit – the use of more than just a couple of habaneros really scared me (and I warned the family that our dinner might be way too spicy to eat), but in the end it was just the perfect level of heat for all to really enjoy! Thank goodness, I could not have been happier with the end results!
BACKGROUND: After growing habaneros last year and being totally scared most times I used them (although we did have some great results along the way), Rich was more than just a little nervous when I told him I was making Jerk Chicken using those now-banned-from-our-house-peppers. I decided to ignore his fears and just go for it. I whipped up the marinate and threw in the chicken (at this point I was kinda nervous too). The next day my nervous yet fabulous fiancé then heated the grill and asked what else he could eat for dinner when this was too spicy (and for him “too spicy” is pretty intense). I basically just told him to shut up and grill.
Finally, with jumpy nerves and full glasses of water, we cut into our hot from the grill chicken. And guess what – it was perfect!! Not too spicy at all with just the right kick! So no matter what your spice comfort level, I ensure you will enjoy this. If you are really nervous – use less (or a different kind) peppers. Happy Grilling & Happy Summer Adventures 🙂
JERK CHICKEN with RICE & PEAS
- 8 pieces chicken leg quarters
- 1 medium red onion
- 12 cloves garlic
- 10 habanero chiles: stemmed &seeded
- 8 scallions: chopped
- 3-inch piece of fresh ginger: sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ tablespoons ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon Maggi liquid seasoning
- 1 medium size can red kidney beans
- 14 fl. oz. (1 can) coconut milk + water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups long grain rice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pierce chicken all over with tip of a small knife; transfer to a large bowl. Take all the remaining ingredients and Purée with about ¾ cup water in a blender until smooth.
- Pour marinade over chicken, just enough to generously coat the parts; massage into chicken. (To protect your hands from the chiles’ heat, wear latex gloves.) This can be done in a large glass container or in zip-top bags. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.
- Let chicken sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Build a medium-low fire in a charcoal OR heat a gas grill to medium/medium high. Place chicken on grill, skin side up. Cook covered, turning often, until skin is crisp and lightly charred and an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter and tent loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Drain the liquid from the kidney beans into a measuring cup, add the can of coconut milk, and top with enough water to make 4 cups of liquid. Place liquid in a pot over medium-high heat with beans, onions, garlic, thyme, and oil, then bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and stir the for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover tightly and cook rice for 30 minutes. Check for done-ness at 30 minutes, because of the coconut milk there is more of a potential for burning with this rice than you are used to. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
not as scary as it sounds, but even more delicious – from Tartine and Apron Strings
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And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What ingredient do you use (or have your used) that really scared (or still does scare) you?