Fleur de Lis

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jamaican Super Moon Fun

I've been craving Jamaican jerk chicken.  Last night was the Super Moon.  You don't know about the Super Moon?  Please google.  You'll be glad you did.  First day of Spring.  Wow....all these great events happening in one weekend? 

First some pictures of the table and my plate, then I'll move on to individual recipes and pics.

Starting at the top, black beans over quinoa, grilled jerk chicken, fried plantains, stir fry veggies with jerk seasoning.

Let's start with the fried plantains.  Thinly slice plaintains.  I mean thin.  Like potato chip thin.  Heat an inch or two of canola or vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add a few handfuls at a time.  They'll brown quickly so watch them carefully.

Drain on a plate lined with several paper towels and season with sea salt while still hot.

The next recipe is for a jerk seasoning that I added to the black beans after cooking and in the last few minutes of the stir fry.

1 scotch bonnet pepper or habernaro (make sure you handle these VERY carefully....wear gloves!)
2 scallions
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 t. fresh ginger
juice of small lime
1 t. olive oil
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 t. dried thyme
4 cloves of garlic
2 t. allspice

Grind everything in a food processor or blender (add a little water if needed)

In a wok, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over high heat.  Add chopped vegetables of your choice.  I used shredded purple cabbage, bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli and carrots.  Quickly stir fry the veggies.  You want them to be crisp.  Add 3 - 4 t. of the blend and coat well.  Turn off heat.  Serve over quinoa.  (Cooked according to package directions.)

See a prior post about the wonderful attributes of quinoa!

Feel free to use canned black beans that have been drained and rinsed well.  These were some that Sweet Harold grew in the garden last year.  I slow cooked them all day in chicken broth.  I added a few teaspoons of the seasoning blend a few minutes before serving.

Here they are all together.

Now to the main event.  This recipe is courtesy of Simply Recipes.  One word:  YUM!

1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
2 Tbsp dark rum
2 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped
1 Tbsp dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground allspice
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons molasses
1 (5 or 6 pound) roasting chicken, cut in half, lengthwise (NOTE:  I used 6 leg quarters)
1/2 cup lime juice
Salt and pepper

Put vinegar, rum, hot peppers, onion, green onion tops, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses into a blender.  Pulse until mostly smooth.

Place chicken in a large freezer bag, or in a large roasting pan or baking dish.  Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well.  Add the jerk paste to the chicken pieces and coat well.  Seal the bag or cover the chicken in the pan with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken from the marinade bag or pan.  Put the remaining marinade into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken.  If you want you can reserve a little of the marinade (once boiled for 10 minutes since it has been in contact with raw chicken) to serve with the chicken or to mix with some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce for a serving sauce.

Preheat grill to medium high.  Sprinkle chicken halves with salt and pepper.  Place chicken halves, skin side down on the grill grates.  Cover.  Cook for approximately one hour, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken halves are cooked through.  The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh.  Transfer chicken to platter.  Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

The drink of the night?  Planter's Rum Punch

Planter's Rum Punch dates back to the Jamaican Sugar Cane Plantation days.  Perfect accompaniment to the spicy heat of the jerk seasoning.

1 cup crushed ice
3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 oz. white rum
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup

Combine the ice, orange juice, both rums, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.  Shake well and pour into a tall, chilled glass.  Garnish with lots of fruit in a fun way.  We went for the tiki hut look!

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