Friday, July 6, 2012

Grilled Jerk Chicken w Fresh Peach Salsa

We are having a heat wave here in Nebraska and I refuse to heat the house up with my oven or stove.  My go-to summer meals are always on the grill and tonight I decided on some delicious jerk chicken.  The origins of jerking can be traced back to the Cormantee Hunters of West Africa in the 1600s.  It is a traditional Jamaican dish in which meat (usually pork or chicken) is marinated in a spicy mixture and then smoked over pit fires.  Of course the ingredients and techniques have evolved over time as various cultures have added their influences.  In my own variation, I substituted the traditional Scotch Bonnet pepper for a Serrano to reduce the heat and added a few extra spices for some added pizazz.  I marinated the chicken breasts about 10-12 hours and then grilled them until juicy and tender.  To offset the spiciness  of the chicken, I topped it with a heap of fresh peach salsa using the peaches I purchased at the most amazing produce stand I stumbled upon right down the street from my house.  The result was a perfectly balanced summer meal.  So spice things up and enjoy!

In my husband Anthony's words, "Best Chicken Ever!"

Jamaican Jerk Marinade Ingredients:
1tbs minced garlic
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
2 limes, juiced
2tbs tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
3tbs extra virgin olive oil
2tsp salt
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp allspice
1tsp black pepper
1/2tsp cinnamon
1tbs fresh ginger, minced

5lb chicken breasts
(Hint: This would also be great with chicken thighs!)

Fresh Peach Salsa Ingredients:
4 large fresh ripe peaches (Hint:  Buy your peaches directly from farmers and you will NEVER buy them from the grocery store again!)
1 handful cilantro, chopped
a squeeze of fresh line
a pinch of sea salt

1. In a food processor or a blender, combine all marinade ingredients and blend until smooth.  Place your chicken in a large gallon size ziplock bag and pour in the marinade.  Close the bag and toss gently until all the chicken breasts are evenly coated.  Place on a plate in the refridgerator and marinate for 10-24 hours, turning the bag over occasionally to ensure all of the marinade hits the chicken.
2. Heat your grill to medium high heat.  Grill your chicken until just done (when the juices run clear) or about 10 minutes per side depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
3. Meanwhile, make your salsa:  Chop your peaches and toss with cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a touch of salt.  Serve at room temp over the chicken breasts.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment