Getting Healthy in an Affordably Delicious Way

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jamaica me CRAZY Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice!

With this gorgeous weather we've been having, as well as everyone else being on Spring Break, I found myself in the mood for a Caribbean meal! If you can't take a vacation, at least eat like you're on one! And thats what we did tonight! I found this jerk chicken recipe on Crepes of Wrath. The rice was fantastic. It thickened up almost to the consistency of a risotto which was just divine. Plus, the little dash of sugar makes this rice absolutely divine. Don't miss out on this meal!

Jerk Chicken:

*This list looks lengthy, but you most likely have ALL of these spices on hand and don't even realize it!*

About 1 pound of chicken (I used thinly sliced cutlets to cook faster)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup Orange Juice
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 T white wine vinegar (or rice wine)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 heaping tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp ground sage
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small white or yellow onion, minced
1 habenero chile pepper, minced (These are in the produce section near jalepenos!)

Here's how easy this really is:

1. Combine all spices in a medium sized bowl. Add liquid ingredients and mix together.

2. Add in the onions and habenero to the bowl and stir again. You don't need the next picture, but I was very proud of my mincing, so you must see it! Also, if you can find a habenero chile pepper that is red, go for that! I could only find green!

Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade to brush over chicken as it cooks.

3. Pound chicken thin, making each piece and even thickness to keep cooking time consistent.
4.Put chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour all but the 1/4 cup of marinade over it. Let it marinate at least 3 hours, or overnight. (I did 3 hours, and it was just fine!)

5. Heat your grill to medium-high. I had to use an indoor grill. You could use your broiler in your oven as well. If using a grill, cook about 3 minutes per side over direct heat, and then 5 minutes on indirect heat or until cooked through.
6. Brush chicken with marinade as it cooks.

*Optional: Don't discard remaining marinade and place in a small skillet. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is ready. Spoon over the chicken for additional jerk flavor!*

Cilantro Rice:

1 cup brown rice (or any kind you prefer)
1 cup water
1- 15 oz can chicken broth
1 tsp lime juice + 1 T lime juice, divided
1 tsp EVOO
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
3 T cilantro, chopped

All you do is combine rice, water, chicken broth, 1 tsp lime juice, Olive Oil, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook about 40-45 minutes (white rice wouldn't take as long).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together sugar, remaining tablespoon of lime juice, and cilantro. Once rice finishes cooking, stir mixture into rice as you fluff it.

Serve it up!

Enjoy! This is such a tasty dinner. I also made a little side salad and chopped some of the leftover cilantro right into the salad (props to my friend Amy for the suggestion!)

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