Friday, July 8, 2016

Jerk chicken skewers

Tonight's Menu
Jerk chicken skewers
Grilled pineapple slices
Veggie kebabs
Cilantro lime rice

Jerk style of cooking means Jamaican BBQ. Traditionally chicken and pork are cooked with the jerk seasoning which gets its distinctive taste from allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. Jerk seasoning could be made as a dry rub or a wet marinade and uses several spices as listed below. Traditionally Jerk meat was cooked in smoked pit fires imparting a distinctive smokey taste. Over time this technique evolved and oil barrels were used as smokers to save time.
You can use jerk seasoning to marinate any kind of meat. The longer the meat sits in the marinade the better it tastes. If using fish marinate only for 15-20 minutes. For chicken I recommend a minimum of 4 hours.
Serve the jerk chicken kebabs on lime cilantro rice. The addition of fresh herbs and lime zest really makes the rice aromatic and taste awesome. Add some seasonal grilled veggies flavored with mint and some grilled pineapple for that tropical feel. 

Jerk chicken skewers
2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 scotch bonnet peppers (or less as per your spice quotient)
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Take all the ingredients for marinade in a food processor and blend to form a smooth paste. Add a splash of rum (optional) and mix well.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into small bite sized pieces and pour the marinade over them. Mix well and cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. 
  3. If you are using wooden skewers then soak them for an hour before threading the marinated chicken into them. 
  4. Grill on medium high till all cooked through. Serve hot over rice alongside grilled veggies and pineapple. 
Grilled Vegetables and pineapple
Veggies of your choice. I used
Yellow zucchini
Cherry tomatoes
  1. Cut the veggies into chunky pieces. 
  2. Marinate them in a concoction of olive oil, lemon juice, pinch salt and pepper, dry mint and dry oregano. 
  3. Thread these on to the skewers and grill on high till tender crisp. 
  4. Grill chunky pineapple slices on the hot grill and serve alongside the vegetables. 
Cilantro lime rice
2 cup white rice
4 cups water
Salt to taste
Handful cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Place in a saucepan and add all the other ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  3. Cook till water comes to a rolling boil. Simmer and the cook covered for 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff up with a fork. Keep covered till ready to serve.
  4. Microwave method - Put all the ingredients in a large microwave safe dish. Make sure the dish is large enough so that the starchy liquid  does not to boil over. Cook on high uncovered for 16-18 minutes. (These guidelines are for a 1000 watt Microwave, so cooking time can vary). Remove from heat and fluff up with a fork. Keep covered till ready to serve.

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