HomeDinnerCaribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe

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Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa is a vibrant, flavorful dish that brings the taste of the islands to your kitchen. The spicy and aromatic jerk seasoning perfectly complements the sweet and tangy pineapple salsa, creating a delicious and well-balanced meal. It’s a perfect dish for any occasion, whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a summer barbecue.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This recipe is a delightful blend of spicy and sweet flavors, making it a crowd-pleaser. The jerk seasoning infuses the chicken with a robust taste, while the pineapple salsa adds a refreshing contrast. It’s an easy-to-make dish that is both healthy and satisfying.

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Ingredients Needed

Before you start, gather the following ingredients:

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Main Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Optional Add-ins

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or canned)

Preparing the Marinade

  1. Make the jerk seasoning: If you’re making your own, combine ingredients such as allspice, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Adjust the heat level to your preference.
  2. Season the chicken: In a large bowl, combine the jerk seasoning, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well to form a paste.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Coat the chicken: Add the chicken breasts to the bowl with the marinade. Use your hands to ensure each piece is thoroughly coated with the jerk seasoning.
  2. Marinate: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Preheat the grill: Set your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill the chicken: Place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Preparing the Pineapple Salsa

  1. Combine the ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the diced pineapple, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.
  2. Add lime juice: Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salsa mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Season: Add salt to taste and mix well. Let the salsa sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Assembling the Dish

  1. Slice the chicken: Cut the grilled jerk chicken into slices.
  2. Plate the dish: On each plate, add a portion of sliced jerk chicken and top with a generous scoop of pineapple salsa.
  3. Optional add-ins: If desired, add diced avocado, black beans, and corn to the plate for extra flavor and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa alongside a bed of rice, quinoa, or a fresh green salad. A side of grilled vegetables or plantains can also complement the meal beautifully.

Variations and Customizations

Different Proteins

  • Shrimp: Substitute chicken with grilled jerk shrimp for a seafood twist.
  • Pork: Use pork chops or tenderloin for a different but equally delicious option.
  • Tofu: For a vegetarian version, use grilled or pan-fried tofu.

Alternative Salsas

  • Mango Salsa: Substitute pineapple with mango for a different fruity flavor.
  • Tomato Salsa: Use a classic tomato salsa for a more traditional approach.

Tips for Perfect Caribbean Jerk Chicken

  1. Marinate overnight: For the best flavor, marinate the chicken overnight.
  2. Don’t overcook: Keep an eye on the chicken to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
  3. Fresh ingredients: Use fresh pineapple and lime juice for the salsa for the best taste.

Nutritional Benefits

  • Chicken: Provides lean protein essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Pineapple: Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes.
  • Cilantro and lime: Add freshness and vitamin C, enhancing the dish’s nutritional value.

Conclusion

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa is a flavorful, easy-to-make dish that brings a taste of the tropics to your table. The combination of spicy jerk chicken and refreshing pineapple salsa is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy this dish as a healthy, vibrant meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

FAQs

1. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken and salsa ahead of time. Store them separately in the refrigerator and assemble just before serving.

2. Can I use canned pineapple for the salsa?

Fresh pineapple is recommended for the best flavor, but canned pineapple can be used if fresh is not available. Be sure to drain it well.

3. What can I use instead of jerk seasoning?

If you don’t have jerk seasoning, you can make a simple blend with allspice, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

4. How can I make this dish spicier?

Add more chopped jalapeños to the salsa or increase the amount of cayenne pepper in the jerk seasoning.

5. Is this dish gluten-free?

Yes, as long as all ingredients used are gluten-free, this dish is naturally gluten-free.

Source: lecremedelacrumb.com

Yield: 4

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa is a vibrant, flavorful dish that brings the taste of the islands to your kitchen. The spicy and aromatic jerk seasoning perfectly complements the sweet and tangy pineapple salsa, creating a delicious and well-balanced meal. It's a perfect dish for any occasion, whether you're cooking for your family or hosting a summer barbecue.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts - pounded to even 1/2 inch thickness – see note
  • steamed white rice for serving - optional
  • chicken marinade
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes - 2-3 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons allspice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pineapple salsa
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • ½ onion - diced
  • handful cilantro - roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno - diced, optional
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl stir together all marinade ingredients. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

  • While the chicken is marinating, combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Optional: combine in a blender or food processor and give it a few pulses. Chill until ready to use.

  • Use tongs to transfer chicken to a preheated grill or skillet over medium heat (discard marinade) and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through.

  • Serve chicken with pineapple salsa.

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