Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Stewed Collard Greens and Plantains
There are hundreds of variations on the spice blend for the traditional Jamaican jerk. Black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, oregano, smoked paprika, ground ginger and ground lemon peel can often be found, but other recipes also have garlic powder, nutmeg, cloves, coconut sugar and dried and ground scotch bonnet chiles are often added. I like to make a small jar of it up and keep it on hand to just sprinkle on chicken, shrimp or pork and often take it a step further and make a wet rub marinade to marinate the meat before I grill but that’s another recipe. Having a jar of jerk spice blend in the pantry makes it easy for weeknight cooking with a lot of flavor and no effort. I don’t make mine too spicy and definitely don’t reach for dried scotch bonnet flakes, but you can bump it up by adding cayenne or red pepper flakes. The collard green side dish starts out by sauteing an onion, garlic, and ginger and adding some tomato paste and a little water to cook it down. You can also use kale or spinach. Plantains or maduros are cousins to the banana but are firmer, less sweet and starchy. They are simple to cook by just slicing them and sauteing them in some olive oil and caramelizing them until nicely browned and are a great alternative side dish to serve alongside the jerk chicken breast from normal the potatoes. I cut a lime in half and cooked it flesh side down while the chicken was cooking to squeeze over the chicken when it was served for a little zing. Click here for the recipe….