Monday, November 22, 2010

Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Rum Plum Warm Spinach Salad

This is the yum! 
     Jerk cooking is another style of cooking that comes from Arawak and Caribe native caribbean tribes.  Originally, jerk cooking was fish, game or bird on a skewer, marinated with hot chile peppers, green onions and then roasted over burning pepper bushes.  Jerk cooking was a native method of preserving meat.  Later, more ingredients from pirates and colonists were added to the native jerk marinade. 
     There is a big difference in flavor when you make the jerk marinade from scratch rather than to use a bottled jerk marinade sauce.  Bottled jerk sauces are terrible!  Jerk dry seasoning mix is so simple to mix together too.
     Jamaican Jerk Marinade Recipe:  Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl: 
     - 1 small handful of brown sugar
     - 1/4 cup of amber rum
     - 1 sliced lime
     - 1 generous squeeze of lime juice
     - 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
     - 1/4 cup of water.
     - 5 minced green onions
     - 1 small minced onion
     - 2 minced jalapeno peppers
     - 2 minced scotch bonnet peppers.  (green habanero peppers can be substituted) 
     - 1/2 tablespoon of crushed dried red pepper.
     - 1 teaspoon of allspice
     - 1/2 tablesppon of thyme leaf
     - 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
     - 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
     - 6 minced garlic cloves
     - 1/2 tablespoon of minced ginger.
    Stir the ingredients together.  The jerk marinade should be slightly sweet, rummy, spicy hot and have plenty of lime tartness.  Thyme and alspice flavors should be noticable.  The brown sugar will turn the marinade into a dark brown color.  
     Set the marinade aside for 20 minutes, so the flavors meld. 
     Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe:  Place 4 large chicken breast strips on 4 short bamboo skewers.
     Place the skewers in the jerk marinade.
     Refrigerate the jerk chicken skewers for at least 2 hours.
     Heat a char grill or cast iron skillet over medium/medium high heat.
     Grill the jerk chicken skewers.  (Indoor Method:  Place the jerk chicken skewers on a wire roasting rack on a roasting pan.  Broil the skewers in an oven.)     
     Baste the skewers occasionally with the jerk marinade glaze.
     Broil or char grill the jerk chicken skewers till they become lightly caramelized and the chicken becomes fully cooked.
     Warm Rum Plum Dressing Recipe:  Cut a small piece of salt pork into small lardon cube shapes.  (About 1 tablespoon of the lardons is plenty.)
     Sizzle the lardons over medium heat in a saute pan till they become crisp.
     Add 1 tablesppon of minced onion.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Saute till the onions turn clear.
     Add a splash of red wine vinegar.
     Add a splash of olive oil.
     Add a splash of water.
     Add a small splash of apple cider vinegar.
     Add a splash of rum.
     Add sea salt and coarse ground black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 finely chopped fresh black plum.      
     Add enough sugar to the warm dressing to give it a sweet and sour flavor.  (About 1 or 2 tablespoons should be enough.  Taste the dressing.  It should taste like a balance of sweet and sour.)
     Reduce the rum plum dressing over medium heat, till it has a thin glazy sauce consistency.
     Add 1 thin sliced black plum to the warm rum plum dressing.
     Keep the dreesing warm over low heat.
     Assembly:  Place 2 generous handfuls of spinach leaves into a mixing bowl. 
     Add a little bit of sliced onion,
     Add a fe slices of carrot. 
     Pour the warm plum dressing and the plum slices over the salad. 
     Toss the salad quickly and mound the warm spinach salad on a plate.
     Set the jerk chicken skewers across the mound of warm spinach salad.
     The flavor of this recipe is pure Jamaican yummy!  Deep spicy hot, lime, cane sugar and rum flavors are so yummy together!  The warm rum plum spinach salad is a perfect match for jerk chicken.  Tangy, lardons, plum and rum aromas greet the senses in a pleasant way!  This is a nice summer holiday recipe.  Ya Mon!  ...  Shawna

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