One mom was late to get her daughter and niece more often than she was on time. But: she ran a soul food / Jamaican restaurant in downtown Binghamton (The Carribbean Spot) and whenever she was late, she would bring a styrofoam plate of whatever that night's special was to make it up to me.
That was the first time I tried jerk, and I loved it. Kadeeja's mom (just remembered her name) made jerk chicken, jerk chop, jerk goat. It was spicy, tangy, sweet, and rich, the meat swimming in a sticky sauce that leaked into the rice. She also made curry oxtail, fried catfish breaded in cornmeal, and shrimp stew. So this was a VERY good deal for me.
I have been making jerk chicken for a couple years. Some things about it ALWAYS turn out perfect: the marinade in invariably delicious. The sauce made from the leftover marinade is TO DIE. And coconut rice and peas is the BEST.
But--I cannot grill chicken 75% of the time. The grill gets too hot, not hot enough, etc etc etc. When I do get it right, it seems random.
This jerk chicken was no exception. It stuck to the grill and turned out super-soft and somewhat shredded.
But it was still delicious.
About 6 pounds of chicken, in whatever form you prefer. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
3 scallions, chopped
10 large garlic cloves, chopped (about a head of garlic)
2 habaneros, whole
Juice of 6 limes
3 TB soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 TB salt
3 TB brown sugar
2 TB allspice berries
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 TB cinnamon
About a 4 inch piece of ginger, chopped
What to do
1. Put the scallions, garlic, habaneros, lime juice, soy sauce, oil, sugar. allspice, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger into the blender and blitz it smooth.
2. Put the chicken in a bag and cover with the marinade.
4. Leave the marinating chicken in the fridge overnight.
5. Get the chicken out and shake any excess marinade off of the pieces of chicken. Get your grill going,
6. Put whatever leftover marinade you have into a small saucepan. Add half a cup of water, a few (10?) allspice berries, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and a TB of soy sauce. Simmer into a syrup--now you have jerk sauce!
|Jerk sauce on the way!|
|This pug is hatching schemes.|
|Chicken falling apart on the grill.|
Serve with coconut rice and peas!
Recipe for coconut rice and peas:
Cook 2.5 cups of white rice with a can of coconut milk and a can of water. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and frozen peas.
In summary, this was nowhere near as good as the free I'm Sorry jerk chicken back in Binghamton. But it was still really, really good. And the rice and peas is fantastic. Maybe I will eventually get the hang of grilling chicken.