Fruity Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Bean Salad Bowl with a Ginger, Honey and Lime Dressing

This salad was so tasty. I have a slight obsession with jerk chicken. We went on a cruise in the Caribbean just before Christmas and I didn’t have any jerk chicken (and was getting worried) just lots of  bar b que fish, rice and plantain. The day before the cruise ended we went to the beach in Barbados and guess what they had jerk chicken. I was speaking to an American lady at the bar whilst ordering and she said it was her favourite place for jerk chicken in Barbados and she visits their villa frequently, what a result. She also said their spicy mayo sauce was delicious too and it was, the secret ingredient was they added rum to it, another result! I have made jerk chicken before but it didn’t taste as fruity or tender as the one I had on the beach. I looked up loads of recipes and came across a Jamaican blogger who added fruit to their marinade, what a great idea. The fruit really tenderises the meat making it so tender and the fruity notes along with the spices adds a whole new dimension. I served the chicken with a simple bean and sweetcorn salad dressed with a zingy sweet dressing to really compliment chicken. Yum!

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the jerk marinade

  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, roughly sliced
  • inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 mango, peeled, de stoned and chopped
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled, de cored and chopped
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (1 tbsp of fresh)
  • 1 tbsp ground all spice
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

For the salad

  • 3 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 1 baby gem lettuce, sliced
  • 1 tin (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfuls of frozen or tinned sweetcorn, thawed or rinsed
  • 10 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 8 sweet piquante peppers, chopped

For the dressing

  • 1 heaped tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • juice of a lime
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used a flavourless groundnut)

Directions

  1. Make the jerk marinade by adding all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to form a paste. Add the chicken thighs to a bowl pour over half the marinade and massage into the chicken, cover with cling film. Pour the other half of marinade into a jar and place in the fridge along with the covered chicken. If you can leave the chicken to marinade overnight it would be better, but leave for at least an hour. The jarred jerk marinade will keep for a week so you can use it again.
  2. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees fan. Place the chicken thighs into a baking dish and cook uncovered for 40 mins. Leave to rest once cooked for at least 20 mins.
  3. While the chicken is resting make the salad by adding the black beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes and peppers to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  4. For the dressing add all of the ingredients into a jar or bowl, shake or whisk to combine. Pour over the bean mix and toss to coat.
  5. To serve, add the chopped lettuce between 2 serving dishes. On one side spoon over the bean mixture. Slice the chicken and serve on the other side of the bowl. Enjoy.

 

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