It's almost hard to believe it when Labor Day rolls around every year - the summer always seems to be over just a little too soon. I’ve been thinking all week about recipes to celebrate the end of this summer season. Grilling outdoors is always a good option for celebrating Labor Day - we may be having nice weather now, but we never know just how many chances we’ll have for grilling before the weather turns cold and wintry. For those hardy souls living in the cold climates, this could be the last hurrah for the year, and it could be quite a few months before heading outdoors for a cookout again.
In our house, we’ve had our fill of burgers and potato salad for now, so I decided on grilling some chicken. With the impending chilly months fast approaching, my mind (and my belly) immediately went to something with a warm and spicy Caribbean flavor: jerk chicken, a dish that I quickly grew to love during my years living in South Florida. Jerk is hot and spicy, and just a little exotic, with the bold flavors of allspice and thyme. I like to make it just a little sweet, too, with just a touch of sugar.
OK, so truth be told, this isn’t exactly the authentic Jamaican Jerk recipe. The authentic recipe uses a marinade prepared with fresh scotch bonnet peppers, and takes a little more time to prepare. This is my Jerk-inspired recipe that is quick and easy, but still really delicious. It’s good on more than chicken, too – it’s tasty on fish, shrimp, pork, and even tofu. Make it even better by grilling your jerk-seasoned meat over hardwood charcoal – sooooo good! If you don’t have an outdoor grill, or don’t want to grill outdoors, an indoor grill pan or cast iron skillet works well, too.
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (more or less to taste)
- Mix the seasonings together in a small jar. Cover with a lid and store in a cool, dark place.
- To use, mix a generous amount of seasoning mix with 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil (just enough oil to be able to rub the seasoning easily over the meat). Be bold with the seasoning. Half of this recipe will season 1-2 pounds of meat.
- Rub your chicken, fish or pork with the olive oil and seasoning mixture, and allow meat to rest in the refrigerator for an hour before cooking. Grill your meat outdoors, or indoors on a grill pan.
Recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage