My husband and I had jerk chicken for the first time at a little restaurant in Asheville, NC called "Salsa's". We were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. The wonderful fusion of flavors so inspired us that when we returned home we immediately went to work on finding a recipe. Here is what we came up with after tweaking and a whole lot of taste testing. We have several dinner parties a year and we always serve our Jerk Chicken. My husband pulled together the Mango Salsa one day and it is amazing with blue tortilla chips. But we love it served over the Jerk Chicken with black beans and rice and a sweet potato. And it is very convenient because it all mostly goes on the grill !
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
We loved how relatively easy to prepare this recipe is... and it sure does make a great impression when it hits the dinner table!
Take note, though: This salsa is not for the faint of heart. I LOVE spicy food, and even I was reaching for water with this one. We used just three jalapenos in the salsa, so please adjust to your heat tolerance and to the heat of the particular peppers you're using. Either way, this is one delightfully caliente recipe!
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, extra virgin
soy sauce, light
orange juice, fresh
scotch bonnet, or jalepeno pepper finely chopped *see note !
*NOTE* *WARNING* Scotch Bonnet Peppers (habanero) and jalapeno peppers must be handled properly or they can cause burning and irritation to skin and eyes. If you cannot handle very, very hot and spicy food then skip the scotch bonnets and use the jalapeno. You must wear gloves when chopping the peppers, the peppers have oil's that will stay on your skin and mostly likely will get in your eyes, not to mention burn your skin !* You may even need to wear a mask because of the fumes from the peppers.
NOTE *Depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breast you may need to split the boneless breast and then pound them down to around an inch in thickness. I
In a large glass bowl mix all of the spices and finely chopped vegetables.In a separate bowl mix all of the wet ingredients. With a wire whisk slowly add the wet ingredients to the spices and vegetable mix.
Reserve 1 cup of the marinade for basting.
Add chicken to marinade and cover for at least an hour. * We always make it up the night before and let the chicken marinade over night.
Pre-heat your outdoor gas grill.
Separate reserved basting marinade into two small bowls. Use one for basting the chicken on the grill with and bring the other to a boil in the microwave, pour a small amount over each chicken breast while plating. Adds a lot of flavor !
Remove chicken from the marinade and grill for 8-10 min on each side or until the chicken is no longer pink.* Again, this depends on thickness of chicken.
Serve with Mango Salsa, black beans and rice,grilled sweet potato halve.
MANGO SALSA DIRECTIONS
In a food processor add chopped onion, jalapeno pepper scraped of white membrane and seeds and tomatillo's.
Process till almost finely grated stage. Scrape out into a quart size bowl or bigger.
Next add the chopped tomatoes and chopped green pepper to the food processor and process till chunky. Add these to the quart bowl.
Next add the Mango to the food processor and process till very chunky. Add to the rest of ingredients in bowl.
Lastly, using a knife, finely chop the cilantro and add to the vegetable mixture in bowl.
Add the fresh lime juice and sea salt to taste.
Serve over the Jerk Chicken
*You may use this salsa alone as an appetizer with tortilla chips . This is our friends favorite salsa and is highly requested !