Sunday, 7 April 2013

Butterflied jamaican jerk chicken with sweet potato chips

Butterflied chicken - Jamaican Jerk style

With Sweet Potato (Kumera) chips

Roast chicken on a Sunday evening, with a good amount of spice, tang, and some healthy chips to top it off... Well I certainly can't wait to eat it!

I tried out this Jamaica Jerk marinade on a pork roast in the slow cooker, and it tasted so good I thought I'd try in on a chicken to really bring out the flavour. Chicken really is a blank canvas of taste. When you butterfly a chicken makes it cook much faster (and therefore keeps it juicier).
Start with a whole chook. Any size chicken you like (just cook for longer if it's a bigger one).
Pull it out of the packaging, turn it over (so the nice breast meat is on the bottom), then grab some sharp kitchen scissors and cut up the backbone. Yes it feels a little strange to be hacking into a bird, and you have to cut through a little gristle and bone, but I'm sure you'll cope!
Cut all the way through.
 Flip your bird over
 and use a little muscle to break the bone between the chicken breasts, so it sits down flat in the pan.
 Butterflied chook.
Lay him in a nice roasting dish. 

Now onto making the marinade. Gather up all of these ingredients. We'll be blending them all together and slathering it on the chicken.
 Start by peeling a small onion (or half a large one) cut it in half.
Chop it up roughly
 And do the same with 2 big cloves of garlic.
Pour these into your food processor. I have a little one that attaches to my stick blender.
If you have a fresh chilli, chop it up and throw it in (I used 2 to make it extra spicy). Otherwise use some dried chilli flakes.
 Then throw in one tablespoon of oil (Rice Bran oil- my favourite)
One Tablespoon of soy sauce 
One tablespoon of brown sugar (the only bad thing! but you do need it for the great tangy taste) 
 Take some fresh ginger, find a grater, and grate a good knob in (about 1 tablespoon worth). I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and just grate off a bit when I need it.
 And now for the lime. Grate all the zest of one lime into the blender too.
 Then cut your lime in half
 and juice away. Place all of the juice into the mix.
Take a tablespoon of thyme leaves - just pick them off the stem and throw in. 
Now for the warming spices, half a teaspoon of cinnamon 
Half a teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice. And that's all your ingredients!
 Take it to your blender, whizz it all up for a few moments
and out pops some amazing tasting marinade (it tastes and smells amazing even if the colour isn't so appetising!)
Pour this onto your chicken 
Rub it all over, the underside as well as the top, and make sure all of the legs and wings are coated. Place it in the oven on 175 degrees c on a low shelf. This will cook in about an hour. 
If you want a great side for this, try some sweet potato chips. Take 2 small sweet potatoes. 
 Peel them
Then slice them up longways, no more than 1.5 cm thick, and cut into chips.
Take a baking tray, splash some olive oil down 
and scatter (or beautifully arrange) your sweet potato chips. Throw these in the oven on the shelf above the chicken.
As you've got your oven door open, this is a good opportunity to baste your chicken. Use a pastry brush, dip it in the juices around the chicken
And brush on top.
 
After 20 minutes turn your chips over.
After the chicken has been in there for 45 minutes to an hour, baste the chicken again (the sauce should be dark and sticky by now in the baking tray).  Then rotate the chicken and chips in the oven- move the chicken to the top tray, and allow it to crisp up for 10 minutes.

After this time, check that the chicken is done by piercing the deepest part (thigh or breast), and make sure that no pink juices run out. If they do, place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. 
And there's your beautiful roast chicken!
Let it sit for a few minutes, then serve with your sweet potato chips. 
(And something green- french beans or salad).

Butterflied Jamaican-Jerk Chicken, with sweet potato chips

1 whole chicken
2 small sweet potatoes

Jamaican Jerk marinade

1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 (or 2) small fresh red chillis
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1. To make the marinade, roughly cut up the onion, garlic and chilli, and blend together with all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Butterfly the chicken by cutting up the backbone with some kitchen scissors. Flip the chicken over, press on the bone between the chicken breasts to flatten.
3. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour over marinade. Make sure all sides of the chicken are coated. Place in oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 175 degrees c.
4. Once you have the chicken in the oven, peel the sweet potatoes, slice longways and then cut into chips. Lay out on a baking tray with some olive oil. Place in oven (on a shelf above the chicken) until the chicken is done. Turn them halfway through cooking.
5. When the chicken is nearly cooked, baste the chicken again, and move it to the upper shelf of the oven to brown off for another 5-10 minutes. Once no pink juices run from the chicken when you pierce it, it is ready to serve. Serve with your chips and a green salad.
Serves 3-4.


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