Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This is adapted from a cookbook called "Dinner in Minutes,"* about which we joke, "How many minutes?" This recipe is, however, pretty quick and one of our favorites. When it's not good weather for grilling, this sauted recipe is just as much a treat.

In her latest cookbook, Julia Child* uses clarified butter (ghee) for sauteing. Due to a higher smoke point, it doesn't burn as easily as olive oil or butter. Instructions for making your own clarified butter can be found on the web. We purchased a jar at an Indian market for much less than the same amount of butter would have been.

1 shallot, chopped
1T+1t brown sugar
2 t freshly ground pepper
1 t salt
½ t nutmeg
2 t thyme
¼ t allspice

2T olive oil or clarified butter
4 chicken breasts

1. In a small mixing bowl, mix shallot, thyme, sugar, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Poke holes in chicken, rub seasoning onto both sides of the meat with a soup spoon and your hand.
2. Marinate 20 min. to several hours. I avoid marinating as long as 24 hrs since some sources report increased tyramine levels as meat is marinated longer.
3. Heat oil or ghee in skillet. Sauté chicken on each side 5-10 min. (medium high heat for for 5 min, then medium). Be sure to brown the meat and carmelize the shallots. Test thickest part of chicken for doneness with meat thermometer or slicing open. Juices should run clear, and there should be no pink. Meat will still be juicy and moist.

Top chicken pieces with a generous portion of pan scrapings when serving! Brown rice and carrots or green beans accompany this dish well, with more pan scrapings on the rice. *(Linda Gassenheimer, 1995; Julia Child, 2009)

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