I needed some inspiration for dinner last night. Pinterest is my holy grail when it comes to recipes. Pinspiration if you will, ha! and boy, it did not disappoint. Searching chicken dinner recipes, and jerk chicken caught my eye.
I love Caribbean flavors, so complex; Sweet, spicy, and earthy. Also, love me some tropical fruits! When I decided on jerk chicken, I knew I wanted to do a mango and avocado salsa.
All these flavors mix so well together! My homemade jerk seasoning has all the staple spices I have hanging out in the spice cabinet. Is anyone else a bit crazy about herbs and spices? I have soooo many different types in my cupboard. Every time I go to the store, I spend a little time down the spice aisle. Picking out a couple of new ones each time. Hence my cabinet looking like it’s ready to explode!
But it’s great to have all these spices on hand. You never know when you might need to make up a seasoning. I had everything I needed, and I quickly made my jerk seasoning.
All you need is 1/4 teaspoon of:
Brown Sugar– I used Swerve brand to cut back on the calories/sugar
I am using the jerk seasonings to make a wet rub.
The rub is scaled way back on the spice. Typical jerk seasoning has scotch bonnet peppers, which are very hot. I like a little bit of heat in my food but not so much to make my face sweat! I subbed in chili peppers, adding just enough heat.
I rough chop the pepper and green onions, then I throw everything in my little ninja blender.
Then, pulse until it is a thick paste. You can add more oil if you want it as a looser rub.
Chicken thighs for this recipe as opposed to chicken breasts. Thighs are juicier and have more flavor than breasts. I trimmed the thighs of fat and put them into a bowl. I then poured the rub mix in and tossed the thighs to make sure to coat evenly. I covered the chicken and placed the bowl into the fridge to marinate for about one to two hours.
While the chicken marinates, I started working on the salsa. I’ve made a few different variations of this recipe. This time I did not have red onion on hand, so it was left out. This salsa is fresh and vibrant. Making salsa from scratch versus store-bought is the best way to go. The mango is nice and sweet but adding in some jalapeno to give it a little kick.
To make this salsa it requires very few ingredients:
Mango- The trick to peeling mango is first to get a ripe mango. Pick ones that are soft but not so soft that when you squeeze them, you leave an impression in the skin. Cut the mango around the pit. Take a slice and grab a cup. Put the skin side facing out and push the mango down the cup. You get all the mango flesh, and the juice stays in the cup. Quick and easy!
Fresh garlic cloves
Salt & pepper
Dice everything up and combine it in a bowl.
Once the chicken has sat for about 2 hours. I cook it on the stovetop in a non-stick pan. I use high heat, in the beginning, to get a nice sear on the chicken. Because the rub is on the thick side, it gets crispy while cooking! Turn down the heat to medium-high when the chicken gets a nice brown crust.
Make a side of cauliflower rice to go with or if you want some white or jasmine rice. Plate everything together and enjoy!!