Thursday, May 14, 2009

CEiMB: Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

This week's healthy recipe was an adventure in Caribbean cooking.  Not having much of a reference point, I wasn't sure what to expect.  My only reference, in fact, is a song by my favorie muppet, Kermit the Frog:

I know a tropical island 
Where the Mango moon and Banana 
sun shine 
And on this tropical island 
There lives a cousin of mine 

Sometimes he lives in the water 
Sometimes he lives on the land 
Sometimes he likes to go 
sun himself 
On soft Caribbean sand 

He's a 
Caribbean Amphibian 
He likes to hop in the tropical sea 
Caribbean Amphibian 
A frog in a coconut tree 

The flying fish and the turtles 
They've seen him hop where the pineapple grows 
He likes to see all the islands 
So, island-hopping he goes 

Sometimes he hops to Jamaica 
Sometimes to Haiti he hops 
Sometimes a warm Puerto Rican 
Is where he finally stops 

He's a Caribbean Amphibian 
He likes to hop in the tropical sea 
Caribbean Amphibian 
A frog in a coconut tree 
A frog in the coconut tree 

Ribbet Ribbet!

(are you still here?? good).  So anyway, my only reference is spirited and fun, but rather limited.  That songe, combined with my scant culinary knowledge lead me to expect a lot of smoke and spice. This dish didn't deliver either.  It was very mildly spiced (perhaps owing to our pepper rather then the recipe) and as the chicken is pan fried, I didn't get the charred flavor I was hoping for.  The flavors seemed more asian-influenced then anything else, what with the soy sauce, ginger and scallions in the recipe.  The pineapple salsa was cool, but the cucumber didn't add much to it and the mint made the flavors  bit muddled.  I'm disappointed, as I have really like everything else I have made with Craving Ellie in My Belly, but it's not as if I left the table hungry.  Just a little empty. 

This week's recipe was chosen from Notes From The Table

Chicken with Jerk Sauce and Cool Pineapple Salsa

from Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave

For the salsa:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup finely diced pineapple
1/3 cup finely diced, seeded English cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

For the chicken:
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each, pounded to 1/2-inch thick
1 cup chopped scallions (about 6 scallions)
1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper, seeded and finely minced (wear gloves when handling)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
For the salsa:

In a small bowl whisk together the honey and the lime juice. Combine the pineapple, cucumber and mint in a medium bowl, pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Set aside.

For the chicken:

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Stir in the scallions, pepper, garlic, ginger, allspice, and thyme. Cook for 30 seconds over a medium heat. Add the chicken broth and soy sauce and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Put the chicken back in the pan and coat well with the sauce.

Serve with the pineapple salsa.

Yield: 4 servings (1 serving is 1 chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of sauce and 1/3 cup of salsa)


nick said...

After reading your post I kinda wish I was a Caribbean amphibian! (or at least rich enough to do what the one in the song does all day) :)

Sara said...

I didn't love this one either. I ended up just eating the pineapple by itself, I think that was a good choice :) It looks great though.

Geoff said...

I'm wondering if throwing the chicken on the grill would help with this recipe? My favorite application of jerk-type seasoning is on flash-grilled fish!

Pamela said...

I thought about tossing it on the grill, too and then I got lazy when the rain clouds rolled in. I think grilling would have definitely made it a little tastier. At least you tried it, though!

What's for Supper? said...

I love your Kermit song.

farah said...

I'm sorry you didn't like this. Roll on next week :)

applecrumbles said...

My favorite was the salsa. It seemed everyone else at our table enjoyed it.

leanne said...

Sorry you didn't like it. I will put mine on the grill next time. Course everthing is better grilled.