Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jerk Style Chicken and Island Rice from Cooking Light

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Today was my turn to cook for our meal exchange. I decided to make Jerk Style Chicken and Island Rice from Cooking Light (May 2004). My sister recommended the recipes to me, and they are YUMMY!! (5 star reviews on MyRecipes). You can make the chicken mild-hot, depending on what you do with the jalapeños.

First step, as always, was gathering the ingredients. The photo below shows the ingredients for the chicken (pretend that olive oil is in the pic too!).

Jerk Style Chicken

In a blender I mixed:

1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion

There was plenty of room in the blender to multiply this recipe by 4.

For the jalapeños, I cut out nearly all the membranes and seeds. I didn't want this to be too hot, as I was making it for families with children. I did, however, save the jalapeño innards, chopping them up separately. I placed them in a bag and gave one to each family in case they chose to add it to the chicken marinade. For dinner tonight our family made the marinade without adding the spicy parts...just to see how hot it was without the seeds/membranes. It was a medium hotness. To make it mild, I'd put in fewer peppers (more like 1 TB...I put in about 2 TB per recipe). If you like it hot, though, add the "extras"!

A lime zesting tip: The tool to the right is completely useless. See the lime on the right? It took me sooooooo long to scrape all that off. And I left too much good stuff on the lime. See the tool to the left? The microplane grater zested the lime to the far left. (I kept going and did the rest of the lime.) I'll be tossing out the tool on the right. (Although it does have a little blade to make curlies out of skins. But when have I ever done that??)

Once I had it all blended, I poured 1/4 into each bag. Then I put 10 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces in each bag and sealed them shut. Into the fridge they went.

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 169(29% from fat); FAT 5.4g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 26.1g; CHOLESTEROL 84mg; CALCIUM 25mg; SODIUM 287mg; FIBER 0.8g; IRON 1.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.6g

This part of the dinner was complete. All they had to do was stick them on a grill and cook until done. Easy!

For free
zing: Simply blend all of the marinade ingredients, pour into a freezer bag, add your chicken, and place in the freezer.

Onto the Island Rice....

This complements the Jerk Style Chicken, so I included it in the exchange. I told the ladies that it was part of the main dish, but it's really a side. We only exchange main dishes, but sometimes a side dish fits the main dish so well, that it must be included. (Chili and cornbread come to mind). This was one of those times.

Island Rice

Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil.

Add the following:
  • 1 C uncooked, long grain white rice
  • 1/2 C chopped dried pineapple (I prefer smaller pieces of this)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime rind
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Cover the pot, reduce to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes (no peeking!). Remove from heat and add the following:
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 TB chopped green onions
  • 2 1/2 TB fresh lime juice
Mix it all up and serve hot.

If you have a rice cooker, add the water, rice, pineapple, butter, lime rind, and salt to the rice cooker. Cook it just like you would white rice (on mine...I cover the pot, and move the switch to "cook"). When it's done, stir in the remaining ingredients.

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 171(9% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 0.8g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 2.7g; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 26mg; SODIUM 117mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.4g

When I made the rice, I doubled the ingredients and made it in two larger pots. It worked just fine!

Here is what each family took home:

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