Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Jerk Chicken with Spicy Guava Sauce

I wanted to try a jerk chicken recipe combined with Sambal Oelek. Both flavors are among my list of favorites. Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian Chili Pepper sauce. The primary ingredients are Chili, Salt, and Distilled Vinegar. Jerk seasoning has a whole other set of seasonings and spices, and is quite different to the Sambal Oelek. I knew therefore that I would need a bridging pepper sauce to link those two diverse tastes so that the result would be a pleasing blend and taste. I opted to use Korean Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang) which, by itself, I really do not like but when combined with other, more spicy pepper pastes, the sweet smoky taste tends to tame them and blend the flavors well. In fact, the resulting flavor is quite different to the individual sauces/pastes used to make it. In addition, because Gochujang contains sweeteners, it helps to thicken the final sauce. This Jerk Chicken with Spicy Guava Sauce is the result. It pairs well with Indian Sweet Lime Pickle.

2 lbs chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1 tbsp wet jerk seasoning
1 tbsp Grace Caribbean Chicken seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
½ tbsp Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp Sambal Oelek
1 tbsp Gochujang
1’ piece of ginger root
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp guava jam or jelly

Sauce ingredients in chopper
1. Make 2 cuts in the chicken thighs down to the bone. Do this on both sides. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, Jamaican Chicken Seasoning, Worcester Sauce and Pickapeppa sauce. Put seasoned chicken in a plastic Ziploc bag and marinate in refrigerator overnight.
2. When ready to cook, prepare the sauce. Put sauce ingredients in a small chopper and blitz to a puree.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a frying pan. When hot, quickly sauté the pureed sauce ingredients until it starts to bubble. Simmer for about 3 minutes and put aside.
4. Put seasoned, marinated chicken thighs in a small baking dish so that the pieces are close together.
Uncooked chicken in baking dish
Place just under the broiler and broil, turning once, to get a light char on both sides of the thighs.
Chicken just under the broiler
The chicken is NOT cooked at this stage so handle as you would any raw meat.
Chicken after first broil (uncooked)
5. Make sure that the thighs are placed skin up in the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.The oven rack should be set to the center.
6. Remove the dish from the oven and take the foil off the dish. At this stage the chicken will be cooked but the sauce may appear a bit watery.
7. Turn the oven off, and start the broil element. Leave the oven rack in the center of the oven. Do not put it close to the broiler. Broil for 3 minutes until the skin chars and the sauce starts to bubble. Remove the baking dish from under the broiler, turn the chicken pieces over and broil again for another 3 minutes. Repeat again so that the skin is now facing up and broil for 3 minutes more until the skin is charred in areas and the sauce has thickened.


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