I read maybe eleventy (favorite made up number) Jerk Chicken recipes yesterday. Most were very similar but one stood out, from my boyfriend's Get Grilling cookbook. Certain ingredients spoke to me like dark rum (duh), pumpkin pie spice, and Pickapeppa sauce. Pickawha? I did not know what this was, or where to find it, until I realized we had some in our fridge. Random! Given to us a long time ago, waiting to be used...
Apparently it's like Ketchup in Jamaica.
The recipe called for Scotch Bonnet chilis, a staple ingredient of Jerk Chicken, but I could not find them at my local Whole Foods. Standing there clueless in front of the peppers I used my Blackberry to google it and found out it was in the Habanero chili family. So I got some of those instead.
Google also told me that the Habanero pepper is EXTREMELY HOT. This instantly terrified me. Not in terms of eating, but in terms of handling the thing. I became convinced I would touch it and then touch my nose or my eyeball or worse, my son. I became very OCD about washing my hands eleventy times.
Look at how teeny tiny those peppers are! The size of a garlic clove. And yet the recipe only called for 1! I used 2, and next time I might use 3. The flavor in this chicken was great, very complex. But not very spicy! I also will marinate the chicken overnight instead of 1.5 hours. I have a hard time planning ahead.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens Get Grilling
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark rum
3 T dark brown sugar
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 habanero chilis, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 T Pickapeppa sauce
1 T freshly grated ginger
1 T allspice
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 T olive oil
4 pieces of chicken (I used skin-on drumsticks and thighs)
Place all ingredients (minus olive oil and chicken) in blender or food processor. Pulse until you get a chunky sauce.
Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add sauce, and stir until oil is absorbed and sauce thickens slightly, 3-5 minutes.
Place chicken in baking dish (or marinating bag) and add sauce. Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Grill! That's the part where I sip a cocktail outside and let my boyfriend do the work.
I served this with Baked Sweet Potato Spears (toss in bowl with olive oil, seasoned salt and cinnamon sugar, bake until crispy at 450). Sorry, no picture, I was busy sipping my cocktail.