Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me for a new chicken recipe. She was bored of the same old, same old, and also wanted a refreshing new take on a dinner salad. Have no fear, Dani is here - with a new recipe. I would've posted sooner, but little one decided to get a cold (not my fault at all that I had one first and probably gave it to her) so we had a few sleepless nights last week and naptime had to be mummy's naptime too instead of blogging time.

I found Jamaican Jerk rub in the international foods aisle at Tesco, so have a look in the Caribbean section of your supermarket. When rubbing the chicken, if you don't have rubber gloves in the house (does anyone?) I used a plastic sandwich bag as a makeshift "glove" to rub the chicken - it will leave a lingering burn/tingle if you happen to rub your eyes (or change a diaper!) later, and nobody wants that.

So, start by rubbing the chicken with the Jerk paste, then squeeze the juice of 1 quartered lime over the chicken. I chose to use drumsticks, because we had a big pack of them in the freezer. This would work great with thighs, too. I suppose you could use chicken breasts, but I think that meat on the bone tastes so much better in this kind of recipe. It would be absolutely stellar if you were able to grill the chicken as opposed to baking it, but baking means that it can be made year round (as it's not quite barbecue weather at this time of year). Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 3 hours; I prepped the chicken in the morning and baked it off in the evening.

Bake at 350F or 180C until the chicken is fully cooked - this will depend on the size, quantity, and cut of meat you're using. A good telltale sign I've found for chicken drumsticks is to watch for when the meat pulls away from the bone at the 'skinny end' of the drumstick, then cut into one to check that it's fully cooked.

For the salad, I shredded red cabbage, 2 spring onions (scallions), 2 carrots, a cucumber, and a red & a yellow bell pepper. If you have a mandolin, it makes chopping everything quick and easy, and you could add or substitute for other vegetables that you already have in your fridge if you'd like to do so.

Then in the food processor, I combined 2 tbsp chopped red onion, 1/2 clove of garlic, a handful of coriander (cilantro) stems (yes, stems! They have great flavour and it's a great way to keep them from going to waste), juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp honey. Pulse and slowly add olive oil until the dressing comes together. Give it a taste and add salt & pepper to your liking.

Toss the shredded veggies in the dressing just before serving and put them atop a bed of whatever salad greens you like. I chose a red and green baby lettuce, baby kale, and rocket blend. Add the chicken on top - you can either serve whole, or we tried shredding the chicken off the bone and mixing everything in together and decided that we liked to eat it best that way. Sorry for the dark photos - it was night when we finally ate this, and the photos were taken on my phone. I hope you can still tell how yummy it was!

Here's an ingredient list if you want to go shopping for this recipe:

  • Chicken thighs or drumsticks, 6-8
  • Jar of Jamaican Jerk paste
  • 2 limes
  • olive oil
  • mixed salad greens
  • red cabbage
  • carrots
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • cucumber
  • 2 bell peppers, preferably red and yellow
  • coriander / cilantro (fresh)
  • honey
  • red onion
  • spring onions / scallions

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