Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Having spent time in Belize this past winter, I had the opportunity to try jerk chicken at a couple of restaurants on the island. This one came closest to those restaurant dishes.

Sunrise, Caye Caulker, Belize

Sunrise, Caye Caulker, Belize

Most readers know I am a big fan of allowing meat to marinade for a long time. Adjust the time as you see fit.

The jerk seasoning can be made a day in advance. The chicken needs to marinate for at least four hours and can sit as long as overnight.

3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup malt vinegar
10 green onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons ground allspice
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 3 to 3 1/2-pound chickens, halved lengthwise, patted dry
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan for 3 minutes.

Transfer rum mixture to blender; add vinegar, green onion, garlic, thyme, chiles, oil, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Blend until almost smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning to small bowl. Mix in ketchup and soy sauce to make sauce. Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.

Arrange chicken in large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over; turn to coat. Spoon jerk seasoning over chicken and rub in. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. This can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chicken from jerk seasoning marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with fork, about 50 minutes. Measure the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh to ensure a 185 degree temperature is achieved.

Cut each chicken half into pieces and serve with sauce over coconut rice.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Breakfast Chili

This is a different take on chili. Using some breakfast ingredients like bacon and maple sausage, it gives a different vibe to chili.

I encourage you to give it a try.

Breakfast Chili

Breakfast Chili

1 pound bacon
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cans pinto beans, drained
1 cans black beans, drained
2 cans kidney beans, drained
4 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomato paste
1 pound ground beef
1 pound maple sausage

4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 beef bouillon cubes

Chop and cook the bacon until crisp. Finely chop all the veggies. Add them to the bacon. Sauté together until the grease is absorbed into the veggies.

While that’s happening, put all the canned goods into the Crock Pot along with all the spices. Use 4-5 cans of beans of your choosing in total. When the veggies and bacon are looking good, add them to the Crock Pot with your beans, tomatoes and, spices.

Now cook up your maple sausage and your ground beef. Get it all browned then add it to the Crock Pot. Stir it all together.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir it enough to make sure nothing sticks to the sides and burns. That’s usually about 1 time per hour.

If you want spicy, dice a few jalapeños or a couple habaneros and add them in with your veggies. Otherwise it’s a mild chili with a bacon & breakfast sausage vibe.

Big Boy Strawberry Pie

This brings back memories. Growing up, we got to eat at the Big Boy. If it was a special occasion, we would get to order a piece of the legendary Big Boy Strawberry Pie. And I do mean legendary. So good!

Big Boy Strawberry Pie

Big Boy Strawberry Pie

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 package strawberry gelatin
1 quart strawberries rinsed, stemmed, dried, and cut in half
1 baked 9 inch pie shell, cooled
1 pint whipped cream

Blend cornstarch and sugar together.

Combine that mixture in saucepan with the food coloring and water.

Cook over low/medium, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add gelatin. Stir it in until it is fully dissolved.

Mix the strawberries in the gelatin before pouring them into the pie shell. Pour the strawberry/gelatin mixture into a pie shell.

Let the pie chill 2 or 3 hours in your refrigerator. Garnish with whipped cream.