This past Sunday, August 30, I celebrated my birthday (38 and Great!) and my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary! We decided to spend the day cooking together and having fun as a family.
One of the things that I miss about NY is the easy access to Jamaican (and other West Indian) food. I could order it, go to a restaurant, or find everything that I needed at the supermarket to cook it myself. But Arizona leaves much to be desired when it comes to food. Most restaurants are commercial chains (Applebee’s, Famous Dave’s, Pita Jungle, Red Lobster, Black Angus) and not at all my idea of a GOOD meal. The pizza here is more or less Pizza Hut quality and everything is spicy in a too-much-hot-sauce kind of way. I love to cook, but it’s often difficult to find plantains or any ethnic food that is not Mexican or Asian. But I was craving Jamaican food!
We decided to make our own versions of some of our Jamaican favorites. The menu? Jamaican Beef Patties, Coco Bread, Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas, and Friend Plantains. I am not going to share the beef patty recipe because they did not come out well at all.
But here are my recipes for a few of the other things.
Coco Bread: Use this recipe here. Make the following changes as needed:
- Use Coconut milk and not regular milk. It’s coco bread for a reason.
- Add more flour in small quantities if you notice that the down is too sticky in the mixer bowl.
Rice and Peas: Use this recipe. Make the following changes as needed:
- Use Coconut milk AND water.
- If you forget to soak you beans overnight, use the Quick Soak method.
- Add fatback or bacon to your onions and garlic while sauteing and keep it in the pot while beens are cooking. You’ll thank me later.
Yields 20 pieces of chicken
This Jerk marinade is made using dry spices is a bit spicy but the heat is just right and does not linger for too long.
2 hr, 30 Total Time
- large package of chicken thighs
- 1 large package of chicken legs
- 1 tbs nutmeg
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1 tbs allspice
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 1 tbs cloves
- 1 tbs coriander
- 1 1/2 tbs of dried thyme
- 1 tbs molasses
- 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar
- 1 cup gluten free soy sauce
- 3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers
- 1 large onion
- 1 bunch green onion
- 10-15 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup of lemon and lime juice (1/4 cup of each)
- 1/2 tbs turmeric
- Combine all dry ingredients (except turbinado and tumeric) in a bowl and mix well.
- Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in the oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes
- While spices are toasting, chop onions, green onion, garlic and sugar in food processor
- Add dry ingredients to food processor
- Add liquid ingredients and puree. Leave aside.
- Season the chicken with black pepper (to taste) and turmeric.
- Place chicken in a large bowl and pour liquid marinade.
- Leave in fridge for at least two hours but best if left overnight.
- Bake chicken in roasting pan in oven at 350 degrees or grill. Should take about 45 mins.