|Jerk Chicken Thighs with Green Rice and Spicy Beans|
I love spicy hot food, especially on a really hot summer day, and while my weather forecast is looking like we’ll be enjoying a perfect California weekend complete with blue skies, sunshine and nice ocean breezes, the long holiday gives Mr. B and I a chance to spend time together at the grill.
Over a decade ago, Mr. B came home with a recipe for fiery Jamaican Jerk Chicken and when he showed it to me and I read just under the title the handwritten sentence, “Beware; this stuff is hot!” I was completely and unequivocally in. So, off we went to search out spices and Scotch Bonnet peppers, to buy charcoal and to lay in a rather impressive stock of cold beer. We worked together to prepare the marinade and then I started in on a pot of green rice and some spicy black beans while Mr. B fired up the grill and opened a couple of beers.
We weren’t disappointed by the recipe and in fact, were so taken with it that we cleaned our plates and sucked every last chicken bone clean and then, for the next several hours, waited to regain sensation in our tongues, which never did happen. However, we had enough beer and our bellies were full, so we were quick to count our blessings.
The long Memorial Day weekend would be the perfect opportunity for you to give this recipe a try—just make sure to ice down the beer.
There’s no need to try to improve on the best and Paul Chung’s recipe from Food and Wine Magazine is the best Jerk Chicken Marinade I’ve ever eaten and well worth sharing. Just a reminder, those Scotch Bonnet peppers are really hot with a Scoville rating of around 350,000 (jalapeños are around 2,500), so be careful handling them; wear gloves, wash your hands and DON’T TOUCH your eyes.
Mel’s Green Rice
1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
2 cups hot chicken stock
2 tablespoons of butter
1 small onion, finely minced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely minced
1 bunch of cilantro, trimmed and chopped
1 bunch of Italian parsley, trimmed, stemmed and finely chopped
2 bunches of green onions, green part only, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
salt, to taste
1. In a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. When the butter is melted, add the onion and jalapeño peppers and cook until the onion is soft and the peppers are fragrant; add the rice and cook, stirring constantly until the rice begins to turn a slight golden color; about 5 minutes.
3. Slowly add the hot chicken stock to the rice mixture; bring to a boil.
4. Once the stock comes to a boil, stir the rice one last time, reduce the heat and cover the pan with the lid.
5. Cook the rice according to the package directions, which for brown Basmati rice is about 45-50 minutes.
6. When the rice is done cooking, turn off heat and remove the pan from the burner.
7. Lift the lid and add the parsley, cilantro, green onions and about 4 tablespoons of butter; replace the lid, but do not stir the herbs and butter into the rice.
8. Allow the rice to sit, covered and undisturbed for 15 minutes; lift the lid and stir the herbs into the rice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.