Did you guys know I have a recipe book? No, not like an actual cookbook of all my own recipes and photos. I wish. I mean like the kind of scrapbook of recipes you put together by tearing them all out of magazines (and sometimes old cookbooks, oops) with the intention of making and tweaking them all one day…but then it actually just turns into a massive mumble-jumble of hundreds of recipe cutouts that you can never actually find the one you’re looking for, that you KNOW you tore out of THAT magazine that ONE TIME. The struggle is real.
Yep, I have a seemingly endless book of recipes waiting to be made, aside from the about hundred cookbooks I have. It can get pretty overwhelming sometimes. But it does end up in me making some pretty damn delicious recipes, when I do finally find one that suits my fancy.
Like this Jamaican Jerk Chicken, for example. I made this recipe years and years ago with one of my best friends after a really long hot summer day of swim coaching. Read: we are ravenous. Hangry, if you will. We knew we wanted something spicy, but refreshing…and obviously with some kicka** flavor, when I pulled out this recipe from the black hole of that recipe book. So we planned in advance for the next time we would be hangry coming home from coaching (um, the next day, duh.) WE made the (admittedly, complicated) marinade for the chicken, and let it sit. The next day when we (of course) came home hangry again, had some margaritas + chips and guac (to appease our hangry stomachs, obviously), grilled up the chicken, and had some more margaritas while we
ate totally devoured it.
From all those ingredients, I was expecting a pretty good chicken dish. But not THIS good, like exploding with flavor good. Especially because the recipe uses chicken breast, which I’m usually prejudiced against (at least in my own cooking) because it always seems to come out dry. Not THIS chicken though. Turning my preconceptions about boring ol’ chicken breast on its head, thank you very much.
And then, knowing me, I totally lost the recipe in that black hole of a book. Woops. This was waaaay before I started this little blog.
You can imagine my delight when I found the one recipe that convinced me that chicken breast doesn’t have to be boring and gross. “YASSS I FOUND THE F****NG JAMAICAN CHICKEN RECIPE!!” may or may not have been the exact words that came out of my mouth.
Sorry not sorry. And you won’t be either when you make this chicken! Slightly sweet and spicy at the same time, and perfectly tender and juicy chicken breast for the freaking win. Word to the wise (and impatient): DO NOT skip the marinating time. It’s worth it, I swear!!
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- ½ large red onion
- 1 habanero pepper, seeds removed
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
- Juice of 1 orange
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey*
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ½ cup packed cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ½ pineapple, cut into cubes
- Prepare the marinade: combine the onion, habanero pepper, garlic, and ginger in the food processor and pulse until minced.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients for the marinade, through the salt and black pepper. Blend until well combined.
- In a large, resealable container, mix the chicken with the marinade until it’s well coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for about 8 hours.
- After the chicken has marinated, make the kabobs. I used metal skewers so I didn’t have to soak them, but if you use wooden skewers, make sure to soak those for about 20 minutes in water beforehand so they don’t burn. Alternate 3-4 pieces of chicken with a slice each of red pepper, orange pepper, and pineapple, until the skewers are full but not overcrowded.
- Drizzle a little of the remaining marinade over the kabobs, but not too much as it’ll just fall off into the grill and burn. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. You could also bake them in the oven at 425 F for 20-25 minutes (place the skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and a wire rack to set them on), until the chicken is cooked through.
Inspired by Runaway Bay Jamaican Jerk Chicken.