Week 32: Baked Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa, Coconut Rice and Beans

I nearly made this recipe instead of the chicken curry that everyone thought was beef.

It was the perfect recipe to christen the casserole dish I bought way back in August, which I’ve been dusting all year after not fancying casserole.  Fickle me.

There are a lot of different elements to this dish, I wouldn’t bother with the pineapple salsa again; it’s just messy and gets in the way.  To make this dish to feed four you will need: 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 4 large chicken lags/breasts/8 thighs/assortment of wings and drumsticks, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 – 4 tablespoons Tabasco, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (I used golden caster), 2 tsp ground allspice, 2 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, soy sauce, 2 limes, half an orange, fresh thyme, half a pineapple/400g chunks, 6 cherry tomatoes, coriander, 400g tin kidney beans, 350g long grain rice, tin of coconut milk, 2cm piece of fresh ginger and 1 red chilli.

Cut the onion into wedges and bash the garlic cloves and put them into the casserole dish with the chicken pieces.  Turn the oven on to 200c/Gas 6.

In a bowl mix together the balsamic, Tabasco, sugar, allspice, mustard powder, cinnamon, soy sauce, juice of 1 lime, zest and juice of half the orange and some thyme leaves.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper and pour half over the chicken.  Stir it round with the chicken and onion, put it in the oven when it looks like this:

The chicken goes into the oven for 30 minutes, after 15 minutes pour the remaining sauce over it and give it a good stir.

If you’re going to make the pineapple salsa: chop the pineapple into small chunks, quarter the cherry tomatoes and put in a bowl with the juice of the other lime and some roughly cut up coriander and take it to the table.

Boil the kettle and put a pan with a lid on high on the hob, tip the rice in with the coconut milk and bring it to the boil.  Drain the kidney beans, peel and grate the ginger and halve, de-seed and chop the chilli.  If you’re not doing the salsa maybe do this before you put the pan on.  Once the coconut milk is boiling add water from the kettle to cover the rice (Lorraine recommends filling to 2cm above the rice, but this is really hard to judge when it mixes with the coconut milk…) add the ginger and the chilli and turn the heat down.

You need to simmer the rice for the amount of time it says on the packet, 5 minutes before the rice is done add the kidney beans on top without stirring in.  If you put the right amount of water in the last of the water should be gone by the time the rice is done, so you shouldn’t have to strain it.

Check the chicken is cooked by piercing it (there should be no pinkness) Fluff up the rice, stirring in the beans, and plate it up.  Spoon the chicken and sauces over the rice and sprinkle with some more coriander.

I’m not sure about making it again; if I do I think it’s a definite November/December dish.  The cinnamon and allspice combination just made it really Christmassy, like one of those Yankee Candles – not really something to cook in May haha.  I only managed one spoonful of Tabasco, but only because I ran out – I’m not that much of a chicken, although much more would have given me the hiccups!

I’d probably also make it with normal rice, the coconutty rice went a bit like rice pudding.  All in all, not the best dinner but I’m glad I tried jerking in the kitchen.

 

Fast Fresh and Easy Food by Lorraine Pascale (Harper Collins 2012 ISBN: 978-0-00-793482-9)

Lorraine Pascale

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