Sometimes I cook dishes that I’ve never tried before. By that I mean in a restaurant or food outlet. I’m easily intrigued by interesting recipes and would just made the dishes without knowing what it SHOULD taste like. Nevertheless with cross checking of different recipes you’ll usually get a pretty good idea of what it should be. Now the Jerk Chicken is one of them. While the name has the potential for several jokes, the term ‘jerk’ originally refers to the cooking method, jerky, which comes from the Spanish “Charqui” meaning meat cooked over a slow wood fire. Nowadays, the cooking methods have evolved but the same addictive marinade remains.
The Jerk seasoning has 2 principle ingredients: allspice berries and Scotch Bonnet Peppers. It can be applied to different proteins too, such as pork and lamb, even tofu! I have not been able to find Scotch Bonnet, nor Habanero peppers so I had to use Chili Padi instead. And since I served the chicken with yellow rice I supposed this is slightly “Malaysianised”.
4 stalks of scallions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 Chili Padi, or if you can find, 2 habanero peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 sprigs of thyme picked
1 heap teaspoon ground allspice
half teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Juice from one medium lime
splash of vegetable oil
2 Chicken Maryland, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a food processor, combine all the marinade ingredients and process to a paste. In a large container place the chicken pieces in and pour the marinade over, making sure all pieces are coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius, place chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up and roast for about 30-40mins. In the last 5 minutes turn the grill setting on to achieve the smoky effect.
In a pot first heat 1 pinch of turmeric, ground cumin and cinnamon until fragrant (about 30 seconds), melt a tablespoon of butter over, then add a cup full of rice and stir around until evenly coated. Add a cup and half of water and handful of raisins and cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. If using a rice cooker just transfer the spice mixture and cook.
And there you have it!
Serve with your favourite greens and don’t be afraid to use your hands to fully enjoy the chicken!
P/S: Catch me on Capital FM (88.9) tonight from 6pm to 7pm for an interview with Xandria Ooi and Liang. Won’t be talking about Jerk Chicken but it’s about “Stepping out of the comfort zone – Changing Careers”