Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa
This recipe for a Jamaican jerk-style grilled chicken is a mild version of the traditional dish. We love the the whole idea of Jamaican Jerk - until our guests learn the menu and then tell us they can't come. Truth is, you can serve a jerk-style meal that all your guests will love. Our one super-taster friend, Meg Frazier, raves about our salmon - and we just don't tell her there's jerk seasoning in the marinade.
We prefer Walker Woods Jerk Seasoning to any of their other specialty products, like the jerk marinade, or jerk barbecue sauce. It comes in a short little bottle, and when we see them in the stores, we buy several. Walker Woods is definitely our fav of the bunch, though Busha Browne's is almost as good.
This recipe is for four large chicken breasts, or one Pick-O-the-Chix pack, if you prefer. You can also do "Hot Wings" this way, or just cook legs or thighs.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs olive oil
2 dashes of sesame oil
1/2 - 1 Tbs Walker Woods Jerk Seasoning
2 cloves fresh garlic (1 tsp garlic powder)
2" fresh ginger, grated (1 tsp ground ginger)
Mix all ingredients well - the honey will tend to stay in the bottom of the bowl, so whisk well to combine all. Add the meat, and marinate in the refrigerator up to 8 hours.
You will need a medium grill set up in the usual hot side/cool side configuration When the fire is ready, be sure to heat up the grate before you put the meat on. Plop the chicken pieces over the coals and let sit for about 2-3 mins to develop good grill marks. Then turn the pieces 90 degrees and let them set for 2-3 minutes. Keep spraying down any flare-ups. Flip the chicken pieces, and repeat - 2-3 mins, then a quarter-turn and 2-3 more minutes. Every time you flip the chicken pieces, mop it all with more of the marinade. Be sure to stop during the next process - at least 10 minutes before the chicken is done, to allow all of the marinade to cook. Dispose of any unused marinade.
Move the chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill, add more wood chips, if necessary, and and shut all the vents half-way to cool the fire. Cook until the internal temperature of the largest piece reaches 160 degrees, flipping about every 8-10 minutes until it reaches that temperature. Take the pieces off, cover with foil and let them set them on the stove to "rest" for about 5 mins while you set the table.
The only thing to remember with this dish is to cube the mango, red onion and red bell pepper the same size. The jalapenos need to be a very fine chop.
1 jar of Del Monte SunFresh Mango slices
1/2 red (purple) onion
1 large jalapeno, seeded
1/2 red bell pepper
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs rice vinegar
juice of one lime
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is OK.
Tame the heat in "jerk" recipes by reducing the amount of jerk seasoning, or by cutting the amount of time the food sits in the marinade. Dense meats such as steak should marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, up to overnight. More delicate foods such as mushrooms or fish may need as little as 30 mins. If jerk seasoning is just too hot for you and your family, substitute a dash of a good-quality hot sauce such as Crystal or Tabasco.