new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Jerk chicken, mm mmm

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jerk chicken, mm mmm

Jerk chicken is one of the best summer dishes I can imagine. More interesting then plain ol' BBQ chicken (and easier to execute right if you don't wanna fire up the smoker,) it's got a distinctive smoky and spicy flavor that pairs perfectly with summer side dishes and hot-ass weather. This recipe from Laurent Tourondel in Food and Wine is pretty reliable.

8 scallions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped (I used jalapenos).
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons ground allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Three 4-pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces (I used one chicken).
Freshly ground pepper

Take all these ingredients, cut them up, and put them in a food processor. You want it to be a paste, but not a soup. Once that's done, put the chicken pieces in a big old plastic bag, put in the marinade, and let it rest in the fridge. A day's marinating is best, but 10 hours or so (as I did) will produce tasty results.

Now, get yourself a grill (or a grill pan, I won't judge you). We did it with charcoal and it tasted just plain delicious. Grill the chicken over moderate heat until the skin is charred and the chicken cooked through and juicy. Bam. You're done.

I served this with some roasted and various squashes (and I do like saying Various Squashes). I tossed them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme, as well as some red onion, then roasted them for around 15 minutes or until everything was tender and ever so slightly burny.

We also had fresh corn salad with cumin-lime dressing, diced avocado, and tomato slices. I love summer salads like this: I'm always waiting with bated breath until the fresh corn comes in. Probably gotta get out more.

That's all for now...more recipes coming up!

- Faine

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