Quick Jerk

I was in a rush, too rushed for take-out even? Tired from work and already getting into a hANGRY mood, I didn't want to deal with all the garbage associated with take-out, worry about food 'going off' in our fridge, and I just really wanted to get home ASAP.

We stopped for chicken, and with a bunch of things still on my list 'to-do' before we ate, I decided I could whip this together REAL QUICK.

Brown and sear meat.

Preheated oven to 385F. Tossed some ghee in the cast iron pan, got the pan hot on medium heat and then rubbed the meat generously with sea salt and cracked pepper on both sides. Next, I seared each side of the meat to lock in moisture, takes about 3 minutes each side. I chopped our little purple potatoes and placed them surrounding the meat, sprinkled them in sea salt, added a dried scotch bonnet pepper into the centre of the pan (to get some spice flavour in the oven air) and then popped the whole cast iron into the oven. We have a blog post about searing meat here.

Chop and brown veg.

In a wide mouthed pot I added lard and brought it up to medium heat. Added chopped onion, ginger, garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper and stirred this to caramelize it. I found a random small eggplant that was on the edge of doom, so I chopped that up small as a filler vegetable, expecting it to get real mushy to help the sauce spread nice over the chicken.

Next, I chopped 3 large soft tomatoes, couple jalapenos, 1/2 dried scotch bonnet and some sweet green peppers, added a scoop of ghee, a bit of brown sugar, sea salt, cracked pepper, thyme, fresh crushed nutmeg, paprika, caraway, allspice.. and I think that's it, and I added a fair amount because I was CRAVING FLAVOUR.

Next I stirred this all around, beginning to drool and clean up the kitchen at the same time. I reduced this to low heat as the liquids extracted from the vegetables, blended it somewhat smooth with a hand blender and then covered it with a lid + set a timer for 15 minutes.

So therefore 15 minutes of laundry, cleaning / prepping us to become couch potatoes for the night.

Bringing it together

Once the sauce was smelling good (and Brian was sneezing his airways clean because there was so much spice in the air), I carefully removed the chicken from the oven and covered it with the sauce. I set the timer for 35 minutes and then escaped to my book.

Is it ready?

As the timer went off, we brought it out, checked the internal temperature, found that we had another 15 minutes at least, so we flipped the meat and put it back in.

Once the internal temperature of the chicken is brought to 185 F (I like my chicken well done, lol thanks Dad) it is done. During school Brian learned the temperatures for commercial cooking, so 185F for chicken is the temperature that is considered completely cooked and well done, since chicken meat is not a meat worth risking eating undercooked!

Let it rest

Bring the pan out of the oven and allow for it to rest for at least 10 minutes, flavours will set and then dig in!

We got many meals out of this. Try it with sourdough for sauce dipping, a side of soup, salad or coleslaw, or rice.