I'm always looking for new things to make. It seems I make the same things over and over from two or three ethnicities. Chinese, Mexican, Japanese...
Well, while I was perusing blogs, I came across one where the guy made a jerk chicken salad. It looked so good. I've only had Caribbean food a couple of times. Jerk food only once and WOW!!! It's so hot!!!!!! I like spicy food, but not spicy spicy where you can't even enjoy it, you know? But I loved the blends of hot and sweet, the cinnamon and allspice flavors mixed with citrus. So I thought I could temper the flames if I made the dish myself.
I tempered the flame so much.. it wasn't spicy AT ALL. I was a bit bummed because I thought there would at least be a little "pow"... so I'm going to adjust *my* recipe so it's more spicy. Here's how I did it.
In a blender, put:
2 scotch bonnets, seeded and roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of 1 lime (including some zest)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp allspice
1 Tbsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup white vinegar
I cut this recipe in half because I didn't want a ton leftover. I wasn't sure when I would actually use it again. :)
Make sure when you handle these peppers that you wear gloves or use a piece of plastic wrap to keep from touching it. The oils and seeds will burn your skin horribly. If you do happen to get some on you and it's burning your fingers, soak in milk.
Puree all of the ingredients until nice and smooth.
Put chicken breasts (1 per person) in a ziploc. Pour the marinade in and let sit for 30 minutes on the counter, or in the fridge overnight. The longer you let this marinate the better!
The other day I made pineapple mango upside down cake. This pineapple is left from what I used for that. I diced it up the other night where I probably should have or could have left them in ring form. Whatever you have, put on skewers. We're going to grill the pineapple for the salsa. Don't used canned pineapple!!!
We are going to need some diced avocado. My friend, Marie left a comment asking how to get the seed out so I'm going to take a quick minute to show you how to dice an avocado. Cut it in half, around the seed. Sometimes the seeds pop right out. But you don't want to go digging around it to get it. Take the blade of your chef's knife and knock the seed with a little force to get the blade to stick into it. Twist it a little and then pull out!
Carefully use your fingers to pull the peel off. You want firm but not hard avocados. If they're too hard, they're going to have a very stringy tough texture. To ripen them up, sit them on your window sill a day or two where they will get sun. Once slightly soft, put in the fridge. If they're too soft, they aren't good.. and are usually even a little too over ripe for guacamole.
Lay the flat side of the avocado down on the cutting board and cut up and down, then side to side. This will dice it up!
Set the avocado aside. We'll need it for the salad.
Chop up a little cilantro and set aside.
Put half of a olive oil rubbed red bell pepper on a hot bbq grill. We want to blacken the skin up.
Take two thick slices of onion (I used spanish onion for this, but you can use any kind. Red onion would be prettier!) and skewer. Rub with olive oil and put on the bbq grill. Grill until soft.
Put your chicken on the grill and sear each side. This locks in the juice. Turn down the heat and continue to cook with the lid down until they're slightly firm. If you push the thick part of the chicken and it's no longer spongy, it's done. Don't cut into it as that will release all of it's juices.
A few minutes before the chicken is done, put the pineapple on the grill and cook until nice grill marks form and the pineapple is slightly soft.
When the onion is done, pull off skewers and chop up. Put in a bowl.
Pull the skin off the bell pepper, then cut into a small dice.
Put in the bowl with the onion.
Add the grilled pineapple, the cilantro you chopped, and squeeze half a lime in.
When you pull the chicken from the grill, let it sit for a few minutes. Then slice on the diagonal.
To assemble the salad, put some spring salad mix on your plate. Scatter some of the avocado around, then sprinkle a handful of rinsed pinto beans around too.
Put a handful of salsa right in the center.
Put the chicken down the center and drizzle lightly with mango vinaigrette (recipe below). Serve immediately.
1 cup mango, diced
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
juice of one orange
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until no lumps appear.