After visiting Dominica, the West Indies Island, last year, I’ve been craving some good Caribbean food. Caribbean food is cool because it has a mix of African, Hispanic, European, and Asian influences. There are lots of stews, curries, rice and beans, and fried breads, all made with super fresh local/organic ingredients.

For the main dish, I wanted to make Jerk Chicken, which is chicken marinaded with a blended mixture of onions, garlic, thyme, spices, citrus juices, and of course, hot Scotch Bonnet peppers, and grilled. You can bake it as well, but I love the charcoal taste of the chicken. I researched a few recipes for Jerk chicken, and found two that I used to base my recipe on.

I used drumsticks and chicken thighs because they are flavorful and cheap. The chicken should be marinaded over night, but I only had 6 hours, so what I did was take the chicken out at the last hour and left it to marinade in room temperature. This will help the chicken marinate faster.

I built the fire about 30 minutes before I was ready to cook the chicken. and It took approximately 20 minutes to grill the chicken. Depending on the heat of your fire, and size of your meat, it may take longer or shorter.

I really loved this chicken. You can serve it with a squeeze of lime juice.

To go with the Jerk Chicken, I made Rice and Beans with Coconut milk, green onions, scotch bonnet pepper, and spices. The recipe makes for a large batch of rice and beans. I cut it down by 1/3 and used all coconut milk rather than adding the additional water. I used canned beans (rinsed) in this recipe, and it turned out fine.

The rice can be made a head of time, and served at room temperature.

At the same website I found the above two recipes, I saw something called Festival, which is a fried, vanilla scented bread roll that is traditionally served with spicy dishes, and after some research I decided to try it.

Festival is very easy to make, basically some flour and corn meal is mixed together with baking powder water, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. The dough is kneaded until combined, which takes a few minutes, and is set aside for about 30 minutes to relax.

The dough is then rolled into oblong shapes and dusted with flour. This recipe makes 8 festival pieces.

The festival pieces are then deep fried (I used 350F oil) until golden brown. This actually takes maybe 10 to 15 minutes, and don’t take it out too soon because the center will not be cooked.

Once the bread is golden brown, I drained them on some paper towels, and stuck them in a pre-warmed oven until I was ready to serve dinner.

The result is a crispy and chewy bread that took very little effort to make, and very good with the Jerk Chicken.

I also made a simple cabbage and tomato salad to go with the dish, as well as Baked Okinawa Sweet Potato chips, which I will post the recipe for.

I really enjoyed these recipes and the food. I will definitely cook it again.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe: http://www.jamaicatravelandculture.com/food_and_drink/jerk_chicken.htm
Jamaican Festival Recipe: http://www.jamaicatravelandculture.com/food_and_drink/festival.htm
coconut Rice and Beans Recipe: http://www.jamaicatravelandculture.com/food_and_drink/rice_and_peas.htm

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