Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Veggie Stew
By Aaris A. Schroeder
If you are looking for a tasty island-inspired dinner from Jamaica, I have just the recipe for you, just in time for the One Love One Heart Reggae Festival in Sacramento and the Cali Reggae On The River Festival on the Mateel River in South Humboldt amongst so many other events coming up this summer.
So I decided to make this recipe because I keep passing by this Jamaican Jerk spice that my grandma has in the cupboard. I looked up a recipe for the rub and decided to improvise and see what I can come up with.
Now, remember that this is a spicy dish, so if you want to remove the spice all together, you can nix the hot peppers and use different colored bell pepper. If you want to lower the heat a bit, use serrano peppers as the spice is lower and the pepper is sweeter but I enjoy spice and so this is full of it!
1 cup of Pickled Hot Peppers (or 6 fresh habaneros)
2 tbsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
1 bunch of Green Onions
2 tbsp Allspice
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Black pepper
Whole Chicken Chopped or 1 pnd Wings, Legs, Breast pieces
4 Carrots Chopped
1 Onion Chopped in Half and then Quartered
1 ½ cup of Chopped Celery
3 Garlic Cloves
4 tbsp Ginger
½ cup Flour
1.2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Beer (Red Stripe Lager for a Sweeter, Citrusy Punch or try Jamaican Red Ale for a Rich, Brown Suga Favor)
1 cup Water
2 large Sweet Potatoes
3 cups Cauliflower
Combined peppers, Jerk seasoning, thyme, chopped green onions, thyme, and spices along with two tbsp olive oil and blend together to make the marinating sauce. Spread all over the chicken (please chop into pieces if it hasn’t prepared for you beforehand. Marinate for at least one hour. (I marinated for 4 hours). *If you are using a crock-pot or a special pressure cooker that browns, add veggie mixture first in here and cook on “brown” until onions are translucent.
While marinating prepare veggies. Combine carrots, celery and onion with a pinch of salt and a tbsp olive oil in a saute pan and cook on medium until onions are soft but not translucent. Leave this veggie mixture in a pan while you cube up sweet potatoes and chop up cauliflower into bite size pieces. Put in a bowl on the side.
Once the chicken is marinated, add to a large stew pot (or add to crock-pot/pressure cooker) and mix around with marinade. Next, drop in the sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Mix all together. Add vinegar, beer, water and mix together. Lastly, add in the flour for thickening, mix together and stew for one hour or for as long as your crock-pot or pressure cooker has marked for “stew.” *Older Crock Pots, I would cook for 2 hours given that it needs to heat up first.
While “stewing” make a medium size pot of white rice to be the bed below your Jamaican Jerk and Veggies. This dish can be made with just veggies as well. Just double veggies or add different types of veggies such as red potatoes, green beans, okra, zucchini, butternut squash, etc. Use your imagination.
Once rice is ready and cooled a bit at your “stew” is all set, use a ladle to drop a perfect sphere of white rice in the center of a wide dinner bowl. Then use a different ladle to pour three cups of stew including luscious chicken thighs and legs as well as well cooked sweet potato, cauliflower stew all over your rice and serve. The “stew” should have soft veggies, tender chicken and the oil from the chicken fat will also help flavor this dish. Your chicken should fall off the bone. So tasty! If you choose to go ‘veggie-only’ be sure to add an extra tbsp of oil into the pot before stewing. You may substitute white rice for polenta, grits, brown rice, riced cauliflower or double boiled oats.
Enjoy and please share this recipe if you enjoyed it. Leave your comments below or if you would like to publish your recipes, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.