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News / Life / Food

Jerk chicken brings taste of Jamaica to your kitchen

By Linda Gassenheimer, Tribune News Service
Published: June 19, 2024, 6:01am

Bring a taste of Jamaica to your kitchen. Jerking is an ancient Jamaican method for preserving and cooking meat. The meat is marinated and slowly cooked over allspice wood. This recipe uses a dry-rub marinade to create the flavors of jerk cooking without spending hours cooking on a barbecue.

Use the jerk seasoning recipe here or buy one at the market.

Helpful Hints:

  • Frozen unsweetened shredded coconut can be found in the freezer section.
  • A quick way to defrost the onion, place them in a sieve and run hot tap water over them. Squeeze out extra liquid.
  • Saute the chicken on low heat to keep the spices from burning.
  • Make sure your bottle of dried herb is less than 6 months old.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Yield 2 servings. Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 tablespoon frozen diced onion, defrosted

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons canola oil

Mix onion with the thyme, sugar, black pepper, salt, nutmeg and allspice. Remove visible fat from the chicken and spoon the jerk seasoning over both sides of chicken and let marinate while making side dish.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over low heat and add the chicken. Cover with a lid and gently saute 5 minutes, turn and sauté 5 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees. Slice and serve with quinoa.

Per serving: 270 calories, 9 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 39 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, Exchanges: 5 1/2 lean protein, 1/2 fat

Quinoa With Coconut and Spinach

Yield 2 servings. Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup quinoa

1 1/4-cups water

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups washed, ready-to-eat spinach

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place quinoa in a colander or sieve with small openings and run cold water over the grains. Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook 10 minutes. All of the water should be absorbed. If the pan runs dry before the quinoa is cooked, add more water, or if the water is not absorbed, boil until it is absorbed. Add the coconut and spinach. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 190 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 40 mg sodium, 410 mg potassium, 210 mg phosphorus