Pineapple Mango Salsa with Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potato Fries

Jerk Chicken Breasts

We’re deep into fall but still having those marvelous summery days and chilly evenings. Love that, seriously. Except when I wake up and it’s cold, cold, cold! Jerk chicken will just make you forget all that. Serve it with a fun salsa and some sweet potato fries and you’ve got a party on your hands!

Jerk Chicken Breasts, shown here with Pineapple Mango Salsa and Sweet Potato Fries
Jerk Chicken Breasts, shown here with Pineapple Mango Salsa and Sweet Potato Fries

I love this simple Jerk Chicken. And yeah, I know it’s not as simple as opening a bottle, but the pay off in flavor when you make your own is worth every single second. You just whip it up in the blender or food processor.

And I know I if you read this blog you already know I have a lot of definite opinions! But I’m not one, either, to waste time on a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter. So a few minutes to whir this up the night before, then the chicken sits overnight in this spicy, herby bath…the thought of it makes my mouth happy!

Pineapple Mango Salsa with Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potato Fries
Pineapple Mango Salsa with Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potato Fries

A couple of things make a huge difference – the fresh thyme, fresh ginger and whole allspice just make this – especially the thyme. Adjust the heat up or down by adding more or less Habanero and watch your family and friends go nuts over this Jerk Chicken.

This sauce works equally well on Chicken or Pork, and both are budget proteins. Buy them on sale and you’ll have enough bank to whip up dinner for a crowd. I’ve used four breasts, but there’s enough marinade to add a few more. I love serving this chicken with my crispy Stupid Simple Sweet Potato Fries and some Mango Salsa or Pineapple Mango Salsa.

Jerk Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min + marinade
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 teaspoon of allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped green onion (or scallion)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, roughly chopped (I use about a one inch “hunk”
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chile, seeded or up to five or six (the larger amount would be “crazy hot”
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 six ounce Chicken Breasts, chicken parts or pork chops (this marinade will be enough for 8 to 12 if you’re serving to more people)

Grind spices in spice blender or regular blender. Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until fairly smooth.  A little chunky is just fine. Marinate at room temperature one an a half to two hours, or overnight in refrigerator.

Scrape off any excess sauce, drizzle chicken with a teaspoon or so of oil and grill over a low fire. Grilling time will depend on the type meat you’re using. If cooking in the oven, preheat to 500 degrees and cook for about 20 minutes (again depending on what type of meat you’re using) turn and continuing to cook till done.

Grill or Oven Roast to a temperature of 165 degrees, remove, tent with foil and allow to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat level:  I generally use two chiles, sometimes three, but if I have company that I know is a bit afraid of heat, I’ll back it down to one.  If you love the heat – go for more.

Note: Watch the Char marks on your grilled foods – they’ve been known for years to not be good for us.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

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Cal 239; cal fr Fat 30.88 (13 %); tot fat 3.4g; sat fat .83g; chol 72.58mg; tot carb 23.76g; fib 2.46g; sug 10.73g; prot 28.93g Note on Grilling:  There is quite a bit of evidence that the char from grilling (and other cooking) is linked to cancer.  It’s a good idea to be careful in the cooking process, limit these foods and know the facts.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • This is a very forgiving recipe – use as much or as little as you like of all the ingredients.
  • No green onion?  Try red onion, instead.
  • Leftovers?  This is marvelous on a pizza, especially thin, crispy one, maybe with provolone cheese and perfect sliced on a salad.

Recipe made July 2012

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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