"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart." -Cesar Chavez
I told my sister about our blog, and decided that I really needed to impress. So, rather than my typical Sunday dinner club meal (throw a bunch of stuff in a crock pot and walk away – my kind of cooking), I decided to spice it up a little bit. This recipe I got from my brother in law.
I ended up tweaking the amounts of some things, I was trying to make 1.5 amounts of marinade but the amount of onions got overwhelming so I cut off adding more onions but continued with a little more of everything else.
Chop the onions, jalapeno and habanero peppers, and garlic, just enough that you can fit it into a blender. You may not want to touch the peppers, find gloves or get creative (I stuck my hand in a bag). Combine all the marinade ingredients and blend well. Here was the fun part for me, since I don’t have a blender, the largest mixing tool I had was my itty bitty cuisinart food processor, so I combined all the ingredients a little bit at a time. After about 15 rounds of the food processor, with the help of my mom, I finally had it all mixed together. I don’t recommend doing this.
Another thing I decided was that since chicken can get dry in the oven, I wanted to cook it still on the bones. So I got two gigantic packs of half breasts on the ribs. The recipe calls that after you cook the chicken, you want to take a cleaver to it to make manageable serving sizes. I don’t have a cleaver, and these are some big breasts. Anyway, I just stuck the chicken in a bowl and poured the marinade over the top and let it sit in the fridge like that overnight. Bake at 350-375 (depending on the size) for anywhere from 30-60 minutes (mine ended up taking about an hour). Check it every 15 minutes or so just to be sure.
I decided to have the chicken with some Jamaican inspired sides as well, to keep with the theme.
I cheated a bit on this one, and bought a box of zatarans red beans and rice. But, I supplemented it as well with some of my own things.
Soak the beans overnight, and then (in fresh water) cook them for about an hour, or until they’re tender. Sauté your veggies in a little bit of olive oil, and I added some of the extra marinade from the jerk chicken. Boil 6 ½ cups of water (or however much you need for the amount of rice you have), add the zatarans, rice, cooked beans, jerk seasoning, and your veggies. Cook for about 25 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Mix the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and spice, and then mix it with the cabbage and carrot. Done.
For an appetizer, we had some fried plantains. Just peal them, cut them, fry them in some oil. I made a garlic mayonnaise aoili to go with it as well, but do whatever kind of dip you’re in the mood for.