The inspiration for this Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stew was the JERK CHICKEN I recently made. My wife and I absolutely loved the flavor. I told the story in the last post that we had the jerk chicken from this local restaurant and I just had to try and make it myself. We all assume it is a spicy dish but it really is balanced. Good heat does not hit you upfront but hits you at the back when you take a bite. Do you know what I mean?
I am calling this dish a stew more because of all that I served in the jerk bowl. The sweet and spicy chicken has red beans and rice. I also made my own tostones. Those are plantains that are twice fried and smashed. Tostones are a Puerto Rican favorite. As I write this post and this paragraph, I realize how this food is really Caribbean. It could hail from any of the islands. That makes total sense an the foods traveled by boat from one island to the next. Bottom line is the flavors are distinct and so good. If you have not tried this type of food, you need to give it a try.
I really enjoy mixing sweet and spicy and adding citrus. Adding citrus is probably the biggest trick I have learned from watching all my food shows. The learning is that citrus can cut through richness, or in this case, balance out the scotch bonnet peppers. This dish is balanced by limes, oranges and molasses for the sweetness.
The cast of characters.
The marinating of the chicken.
The Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stew plated.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stew
- 12 Whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tbsp Ground Allspice
- 2 Whole Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 4 Whole Garlic Cloves chopped
- 2 Inches Fresh Ginger grated
- 1/2 Whole Lime squeezed
- 1/2 Whole Orange squeezed
- 3 Sprigs Thyme
- 1/4 Cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Molasses
- 3 Whole Carrots peeled and diced
Put allspice, thyme, garlic, scotch bonnets, peppercorns, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, soy sauce, molasses, orange juice and lime juice in a blender and puree until combined.
Put chicken in a bowl, and cover with the marinate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove chicken from the marinate. In a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides - about 2 minutes per side. Put the chicken in a baking dish with the marinate added back.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Put the baking dish in the oven, uncovered. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Finish the dish under the low broiler for a minute or so to add to the char. Remove and serve with rice and red beans and tostones.