December 12, 2011

recipe of the week | caribbean jerk chicken | food network

I’ve been back from my St. Lucia vacation for a week, and though I was unable to bring the beautiful weather back to cold Kansas, I was able to bring a little bit of Caribbean flavor into my home.

The first meal the teacher man and I had together when I got home was a tasty adaption of this Caribbean Jerk Chicken recipe. I ventured out to Penzeys to pick up some Caribbean jerk seasoning to combine with my other herbs and spices (namely salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, chives and, because I’m a hothead, extra cayenne).

caribbean jerk seasoning penzeys spices

{Caribbean jerk seasoning from Penzeys Spices is made up of ginger, ancho chili pepper, brown sugar, garlic, paprika, allspice, lemongrass, thyme, nutmeg, Tellicherry black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and jalapeno.}

The teacher man and I decided against the butter sauce and bananas in this recipe and instead chose to add a simple salad and save room for dessert (although I usually never decline butter!). The recipe called for the chicken breasts to be dipped in red wine; we opted to soak them in a bit of California Zinfandel before dipping them in the savory spices.

Zin pairs perfectly with peppery Caribbean jerk seasoning; I was especially excited about this bottle because, even though it’s a California red, the peaks on the bottle reminded me of St. Lucia’s famous landmark, the Pitons.

ancient peaks california zinfandel

{This bottle of Ancient Peaks Zinfandel was about $15 and had a decent rating.}

We used a simple grill pan to sear the chicken breasts and then finished them off in a cast iron skillet in the oven. The turnout was perfect: Juicy, spicy chicken with enough heat to keep us warm in these below-freezing nights! The best part, though? This is a simple, easy dinner for weeknights that won’t take too much of your precious evening time!

caribbean jerk chicken

{We made enough for lunch the next day, too — heated up just fine in the microwave without 1) exploding or 2) losing too much juiciness.}

What are some of your favorite warming foods? What recipes are your easy weeknight go-to’s? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!

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