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Foodie Friday: Caribbean Jerked Chicken

Food & Drink >

As a heat wave rolls across the country I find myself fantasizing about sitting on a tropical beach in Jamaica: the spicy smell of Jerked Chicken grilling, the soothing lull of the ocean washing my cares away as I sip on a cool tropical beverage. Then, the light turns green, the car behind me honks their horn and I am once again moving toward home, dinner, family and friends. Well, if I can’t afford to go to Jamaica I am the type of foodie that says “heck, why not bring a little bit of the Caribbean home.”

That, my friends is what I recommend for you and yours and that’s why for this week’s Foodie Friday, I’m bringing the heat. This recipe is a great way to transform your backyard into a white sandy beach for a day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.


Jerked Chicken with Citrus Yogurt Sauce, Beans and Rice

This recipe can be adapted to almost any type of meat such as pork, game hens, lamb, rabbit, or turkey. Cooking times would vary of course.

You can replace the yogurt in the citrus yogurt sauce with extra virgin olive oil as well for a dairy free option. Serve with orange slices, shredded cabbage, and the citrus sauce on the side. You can add your favorite fruits and vegetables also on the side to make it your own.

6 skin-on chicken breasts (I like the airline style chicken breasts with the wing attached)

½ tsp kosher salt

¾ cup Jerk Rub (recipe follows)

Rice and beans (recipe follows)

Citrus yogurt sauce (recipe follows)

Wearing gloves, generously rub the chicken with the jerk seasoning and transfer to a shallow pan. Marinate 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.

Pre-heat grill to medium heat. If using charcoal let them burn until they are glowing red with a moderate covering of white ash. They should be spread evenly.

Once again, while wearing gloves, brush off excess rub from the chicken. Season it with salt and grill over direct heat until marked 4-5 minutes per side. Move to indirect heat and and continue cooking covered, turning as needed. Cook the chicken through (165 degrees Fahrenheit). Which should take about another 10-12 minutes depending on the size and cut of your chicken.

Jerk Rub

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup dark rum

½ medium yellow onion chopped

1 scotch bonnet chopped

4-5 scallions chopped

2 tsp allspice

½ tsp ground clove

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée to a smooth thick paste. Set aside in the refrigerator covered.

Citrus Yogurt Sauce

1 grape fruit broken into supremes

1 orange broken into supremes

1 lemon broken into supremes

1 lime zested and juiced

2 large shallots sliced very thin

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ cup yogurt

1 tbsp honey (more if desired)

3 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped

½ tsp kosher salt or to taste

With a sharp knife cut the skin and pith from the grapefruit, orange, and lemon.

Carefully slice the segments from in between the dividing tissue by cutting a “V” shape

Squeeze excess juice into a large mixing bowl along with the supremes.

Add all other ingredients to the bowl and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Set aside covered in the refrigerator.

Rice and Beans

2 slices of bacon, diced

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 can kidney beans rinsed well

1 cup long grain white rice (brown rice is OK too if you adjust cooking time)

6-7 scallions chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Cook bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add coconut milk and broth together in a pot with the rice bring to a simmer and cook covered until the rice is tender to the tooth about 20 minutes.

Fold in beans and allow them to heat through.

Remove from heat and fold in scallions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Serve hot.


And for the foodies out there that are looking for a Foodie Event to attend I found some really cool upcoming events that are currently available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Tuesday, August 28 I Indian Curries – Now We’re Cookin’Evanston, Illinois

Wednesday, August 29 I Ruins in the RawHood River, Oregon

Saturday, September 1 I Cookies, Cake, and Pie, Oh My!Worthington, Ohio

Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2 I That Brown Girl Presents: FRIEDSeattle, Washington

Friday, September 21 I Terroir: Meat and GrapesSeattle, Washington