One of the greatest things about summer, in my opinion, is the ability to grill. Using the grill as a creative outlet for cooking is one of my favorite things. Contrary to popular belief, grilling isn’t just for men. There’s so much more you can do with a grill than cook a thick slab of beef!
With that said, our lack of a grill has had me seriously bummed out this summer. I hardly even enjoy looking through my monthly Taste of Home magazine due to the fact that it is usually filled with mouthwatering recipes designed for the grill.
Jacob and I have been longing for the Caribbean lately. Just over a year has passed since we left the luscious jungles, out of this world views, and sandy beaches of St. Lucia. The land of “no pressure, no problem,” where your glass is never empty and your belly is always full. Oh, the flavors of the Caribbean.
We tried many unknown dishes while we were there, and I think it is safe to say there weren’t any that we didn’t like. Although Caribbean cooking isn’t all that widespread in the states, there is one dish that I am sure almost everyone has or will try sometime in their lifetime; Caribbean jerk chicken. If you thought this dish couldn’t get any better, well, take a trip to the Caribbean and then think again.
This succulent dish quickly became one of our favorites, so naturally, when we longed for the Caribbean, we craved some of this charred, sweet and spicy goodness. Well, much to our dismay, Caribbean jerk chicken isn’t one of those things that can be easily replicated without a grill! So, I was forced to get creative…
The temps in Boston are nothing like they currently are in Arkansas, although, when we cook, our kitchen feels like parking lot asphalt in the middle of July. A hot oven plus no air conditioning can make for a very unpleasant cooking experience. So, what do I turn to? My handy dandy crockpot!
Many people think that slow cookers are only good during the cooler months. Wrong! While many of my favorite slow cooked meals are more appropriate for cooler weather, crockpots are the perfect way to cook up something delicious, while keeping the temperatures in your kitchen cool. Plus, what better way (besides grilling) is there to end an adventurous summer day than coming home to a meal that requires little or no preparation?
I don’t think I could get by calling this Caribbean jerk chicken, seeing as how the “jerk” comes from the use of a grill, so I think I will call it Caribbean inspired slow cooked chicken.
Caribbean Inspired Slow Cooked Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup water
8 tablespoons lime juice (roughly 3 limes)
2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning. (I used McCormick’s as it was what I had on hand. Although, you can easily make your own seasoning by mixing together nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper, thyme, and ginger.)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
habanero peppers, chopped (use three if you want extra spice)
Place chicken in crockpot. Cover with lime juice and water.
In a food processor, blend the seasoning, brown sugar, olive oil, onion, garlic, and habenero peppers until almost smooth.
Pour prepared mixture over chicken and cook on low for around 6 hours. Once chicken is cooked, lightly shred it with a fork.. It will be so tender by this point that you hardly have to do anything more than give it a good stir.
Okay, so that’s it! Pretty easy, huh? Now you might be asking yourself, “What do I eat with this delectable dish?” Well, I’ve got you covered! This dish wouldn’t be complete without some red beans and coconut rice.
1 can coconut milk
2 cups minute rice
1 15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bring coconut milk to a slow boil. Add rice, cover, and remove from heat for 5 minutes. Mix kidney beans with rice, add salt, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Time to dig in! Fill up a bowl with rice, top it off with some chicken, and enjoy!
Can you hear the waves yet?