Sunday, January 18, 2009

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Rice

Sometime last year we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Cabana. I’ve eaten there so many times I’ve ate most of the menu. I frequently order off their specials. One time I ordered Jerk Chicken from the specials list. Never in my life have I eaten a meal that was too hot for me on the first bite. It was SO hot I got no enjoyment out of the meal. The Boy offered to trade with me, but he had ordered prime rib, cooked pretty rare. And I don’t like prime rib. I was so disappointed, because it was the first bad meal I’d had at the restaurant. I was determined that I could make that same meal, only make it enjoyable. I searched the web and found a recipe on Real Simple.

I’m so glad I found this recipe. Not only is is simple, it’s delicious & pretty healthy. I tweak it just a little. One thing is, I don’t cook with white rice. Brown rice is just so much better for you, and we’re accustomed to it now. And the other tweak was instead of using salt & pepper I used Caribbean Jerk seasoning we had in our spice pantry, to kick it up a knotch. This is a really yummy meal, and it feels like a fancy or special meal, even though it doesn’t require a lot of effort. I’ve made this a few times, and it will always have a spot in our regular rotation.


Jerk Chicken with Rice, Black Beans, & Pineapple

adapted from Real Simple


1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup spiced rum or orange juice (I chose rum, of course!)
2 tablespoons jerk sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Caribbean Jerk seasoning (or Kosher salt and pepper)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, sliced


Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Combine the vinegar, rum, jerk sauce, and ginger in a measuring cup or small bowl; set aside.

Pound the chicken to an even thickness. Season it with jerk seasoning (or salt & pepper).

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and add the vinegar mixture. Return the skillet to low heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Stir the beans into the rice, add jerk seasoning if desired. Spoon rice & bean mixture onto plate or shallow bowl, top with chicken. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken. Top with pineapple & scallions.

Tip: The chili peppers in jerk sauce shouldn't overwhelm the other ingredients. Taste yours before adding it to a dish. If the sauce is too spicy, cut the amount you use in the recipe by half.

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