You will need the following ingredients to prepare enough jerk chicken for 4 people:
One 3 1/2 lb chicken (3lb of chicken breasts may be used if preferred)
6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers (jalapenos may be used if scotch bonnet peppers are unavailable)
2 Tbsp. thyme
2 Tbsp. ground allspice
8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Medium onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tsp. ground black pepper
1 to 2 Tsp of the following (to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
Juice of one lime
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white vinegar
Step 1: Chop the onions, garlic and peppers. These do not need to be chopped too fine as they will be liquidised by the blender.
Step 2: Blend all of the ingredients (excluding the chicken) in a blender to make the jerk sauce.
Step 3: Cut the chicken up in to 4 pieces.
Step 4: Rub the sauce in to the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later. Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinade overnight.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the meat then bake for a further 30 minutes.
Grill the meat slowly until cooked, turning regularly. Baste with some of the remaining marinade whilst cooking. For best results, cook over a charcoal barbeque (ideally over a rack of pimento wood).
Chop each quarter chicken portion in to 5 or 6 smaller pieces using a heavy cleaver.
Use a wooden spoon (or something similar) to hold the chicken in place whilst chopping and NOT YOUR HAND (you will be chopping with enough pressure to cut through bone!!!)
Serve with festival and salad or rice and peas or hardo bread and the jerk sauce left over for dipping.
Jerk Chicken is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.
There are two commonly held theories regarding how the name "Jerk" came to be used. One is that it originates from the Spanish word "Charqui", used to describe dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui" to "Jerky" to "Jerk". Another theory is that the name derives from the practice of jerking (poking) holes in the meat to fill with spices prior to cooking. Nowadays, the word "Jerk" is used as a noun to describe the seasoning applied to jerked food and as a verb to describe the process of cooking used.
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1: Sieve the flour in to a bowl and stir in the cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder.
Step 2: Add the teaspoon of vanilla to the cup of water.
Step 3: Add a small amount of water in to the mixture, work the water in to the mixture with your fingertips.
Keep adding small amounts of water to the mixture, when half of the cup has been added the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.
Step 4: Keep adding water until the mixture becomes a firm dough which is only slightly sticky (you should not need to add the whole cup).
If the mixture gets too sticky to work with, add more flour
Step 5: Cover the mixture and leave to stand for half an hour.
Step 6: Divide the mixture in to eight portions.
Knead each portion and roll it in to a small sausage shape
Step 7: Cover each festival in a mixture of flour and cornmeal.
Step 8: Deep fry until golden brown - this should take about half an hour.
Step 9: Serve with any Jamaican dish. Festival goes very well with Jerk dishes and spicy fish recipes where the sweet festivals provide a deliciously complimentary taste.
1 can of tinned or 1 cup of fresh red peas (either kidney beans or pigeon peas)
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 uncut scotch bonnet pepper (1 jalapeno pepper may be used as a substitute)
3 Scallion (spring onions may be used as a substitute)
1 tin (or one cup) of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (2 teaspoons of dried thyme may be used as a substitute)
Step 1: If you are using fresh peas then wash these.
Step 2: Pour on three cups of water and leave to soak overnight (nb - there is no need to do this if you are using tinned peas).
Step 3: Crush the garlic and add to seven cups of boiling water.
Step 4: If you are using fresh peas add them now and boil for 45 minutes.
Step 5: You can test to see if the peas are cooked by crushing them against the lid of the pot.
Step 6: (If they crush easily, you are ready to move on to the next step).
Step 7: NB - If you are using tinned peas jest add them to the pot and move straight on to the next step.
Step 8: Add your coconut milk, rice, salt, black pepper and thyme to the mix.
Step 9: Crush the scallion (do not chop) and add this.
Step 10: Also add the uncut scotch bonnet pepper, nb - the pepper remains uncut so as to not make the rice spicy, just give it a subtle peppery flavour.
The Rice and Peas should be ready after about 40 minutes (exact cooking time will depend on the brand of rice used).
The Rice and Peas is now ready to serve!
You will need the following ingredients to prepare enough ackee and saltfish for 4 people:
1/2 lb Saltfish (dried, salted codfish)
12 fresh ackees or 1 (drained) can of tinned ackees
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp of butter
1/2 a hot chilli pepper (ideally Scotch Bonnet)
1 sweet pepper
1 chopped tomato
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic
4 Scallion (or spring onions)
6 Slices of bacon
Step 1: Cover the saltfish in cold water. Let soak overnight (minimum 8 hours) changing the water several times (this removes most of the salt)
Step 2: Bring a pan of cold water to the boil and gently simmer the fish for 20 minutes (until the fish is tender).
Step 3: Chop the onion, sweet pepper, chilli pepper and tomato.
Step 4: Remove the fish from water and allow to cool. Remove all of bones and skin then flake the flesh of the fish.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and stir fry the onion, black pepper, sweet pepper, chilli and thyme for about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and flaked fish and stir-fry for another 10 minutes.
Add the Ackee and cook until hot throughout. Stir gently to avoid breaking-up the Ackee.
Serve with yam, green banana, fried dumplings and Irish potato.
The word Yam is believed to derive from to African word nyami, to eat. Yams are toxic if eaten raw but safe after they are cooked.
Peel the yam.
N.B. - Touching raw yam can cause your skin to itch. To avoid this, rub some oil on your hands before preparing raw yam.
Cut up in to serving sized portions.
Boil until tender (this should take about 35 minutes).
Green bananas look very much like yellow bananas but are very different in several respects, most notably their flesh is firm and starchy tasting rather than soft and sweet like a yellow banana's.
There are two methods of preparing boiled green bananas.
Boiling Green Bananas With the Skin On:
Wash the bananas thoroughly in hot soapy water to remove any remaining traces of pesticides and artificial fertilisers.
Drop the bananas in to a saucepan of boiling water.
Boil for about 20 minutes - you will know they are ready if the flesh feels tender when pricked with a fork.
Peel then serve (the skin should come off fairly easily after cooking).
Boiling Bananas Peeled
It is much more difficult to remove the skin of a green banana than that of a yellow banana, the most commonly used technique is to:
Cut the ends of the bananas off.
Cut along each of the ridges.
Peel the skin away in sections.
The peeled bananas can then be boiled as per the instructions above.
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
Oil for frying
Sieve the flour in to a bowl, stir in the salt and baking powder.
Cut the butter in to small lumps and add to the mixture.
Work the mixture in to a breadcrumb-like texture.
Add the milk a little bit at a time and work in to the mixture (if it is added too quickly the mixture may not bind properly).
Knead the mixture until it is smooth.
Divide the mixture in to small balls about 5cm in diameter then flatten the balls so they are about 2cm thick. The dumplings are now ready to be either boiled or fried.
Cooking - Fried Dumplings
Heat the oil over a low heat.
Fry until golden brown (this should take about five minutes).
Place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Cooking - Boiled Dumplings
Place the dumplings in boiling water for 15 minutes.
Drain and serve.
In Jamaica, Potatoes are usually referred to as "Irish Potatoes" or simply "Irish".
Boiling "Irish" Potatoes
Peel the potatoes.
Cut up in to serving sized portions, ensure each piece is roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
Boil until tender (this should take about 10 minutes). You can test that they are ready by stabbing a potato with a fork. If the fork comes out of the potato easily then they are ready.
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