Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a Jerk!

The other night I decided to make dinner using only ingredients I had on hand (which meant no garlic because I was out). Considering the size of my pantry this wasn't a problem...but I did want to use a butternut squash, beans, and brown rice. So I made Jerk Chicken Curry, to which I added kidney beans, squash, and Swiss chard stems.

The last time we were up in Gualala (post coming soon!) we picked a huge amount of chard because three other people were going to take some home with them. But they all forgot to grab their bags of it out of the fridge before they departed so Dave and I now have TONS of it. I have been trying to figure out what to do with all of it before it goes bad. And what to do with all those beautifully colored stems? Most recipes say to remove them before cooking but I don't want to waste perfectly delicious and beautiful veggies like that, especially in winter. Those color compounds in the chard stems must be good for you. So I chopped them up like you do with celery and into the pan they went!

That's the great thing about curries--you can add pretty much any meat or any vegetable and it will be amazing. Why do you think there are so many options at Thai or Indian restaurants?

This curry was scrumptious and fresh-tasting because of the lime juice.

Jerk Chicken Curry (with Kidney Beans, Squash, and Chard Stems)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks or 4 chicken breasts cut into 2" cubes (or an equivalent amount of pork, lamb, shrimp)
  • 4 tablespoons Jerk seasoning (or make you own like I did, below)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Small bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated (finely chop stems)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans (or 1 or more cans)
  • 3-4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1-2 cups chopped Swiss chard stems
  1. Toss chicken pieces with Jerk seasoning and marinate for up to 24 hours
  2. Heat olive oil in large frying pan, heat to medium-high, and brown chicken pieces on each side. Don't worry about cooking the chicken at this point, just brown it. Remove to a plate.
  3. To the remaining oil, add the butternut squash, Swiss chard stems, cilantro stems, and remaining Jerk seasoning left in the marinating bowl. Cook about 5 minutes or until squash begins to soften.
  4. Add the tomatoes and chicken pieces, stir, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes to cook the chicken.
  5. Stir in the beans, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes more
  6. Serve over rice with cilantro and plain yogurt for garnish.
Homemade Jerk Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 small red onion, grated or minced
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 fresh or bottled lime juice

1 comment:

steph.kelley said...

Very nice! Mont and I were laughing the other night because I had made yet another dinner of jerk-style curry, unintentionally — I always start cooking with a new recipe but end up thinking that it could use some cinnamon, and cumin, and a pinch of curry and oregano...and by the end, it's the same thing I always make! But hey, I know what I like...and it's a huge jerk! :P