Worth the effort: Jerk chicken might sounds complicated but it really isn’t
Hello and welcome to all about food. This week we’re spicing things up a little. Enjoy!
I’m a keen cook and I love making healthy and tasty meals for my family, however, I feel like I’ve become stuck in a rut! While I make a lot of pasta sauces, stews, casseroles I feel like there’s a whole world of herbs and spices that I’m not exploring. Have you any suggestions for a spicy recipe that’s a little bit different?
The best thing to do is just get stuck in and you’ll quickly realise what flavours you love and what ones appeal less to you. A favourite of mine is Jerk chicken with a mango salsa and rice. Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients – I know it seems very long but really once you have the spices in your cupboard you’ll find yourself reaching for them again and again I promise!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
1 tbsp of ground allspice
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp dried sage
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
1 chilli (I leave the seeds in as Jerk is all about the kick but deseeded is fine too)
3 cloves garlic
60 mls of olive oil
60 mls of soy sauce
180 mls of white vinegar
120 mls of orange juice
Juice of 2 limes
8-10 free range chicken thighs
(allow two chicken thighs per person)
The easiest way to make the Jerk paste is to use a food processor or a stick/hand blender. Don’t panic if you don’t have either of these it’ll just mean you’ll have to work a little harder and finely dice all the ingredients! There is no set way to mix the ingredients – it’s really just a case of throwing it all together and blending until relatively smooth. I find the easiest way to marinade the chicken is to score each thigh a few times before putting it in a large bowl and pouring the paste on top. The longer you can leave the paste the better – anything up to a few hours will be perfect.
To cook off the chicken place it in a roasting dish and into a pre heated oven (200ºc) for 30-40 minutes. Don’t pour all the marinade over the chicken in the roasting tin if you don’t need it – the chicken should be generously coated but the base of the roasting tin should not!
I like to serve this with a simple mango salsa and boiled basmati rice. The chutney is simple – dice a mango and mix with a deseeded and finely chopped chilli, the juice of a lime (or two) and a bunch of chopped coriander!
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