Friday, September 16, 2011

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Curry

I was at my local Asian market the other day and I ran across some Habanero Peppers also known as Scotch Bonnet Peppers.  As much as I love spicy food, I have never tried this kind of pepper before in my cooking.  After I bought them and got home I realized, I had no idea what I was going to do with these very spicy peppers.  I was almost frightened to touch them because I have heard that these are some of the spiciest chilies around and people even use gloves when they work with them.  So they sat in my refrigerator for several days and I finally decided I must take on the challenge and come up with a recipe for them.  I decided on making my interpretation of a Jamaican Jerk Chicken.  I tried to use as much of the flavors jerk chicken is famous for, but also gave it my curry twist.  This Jamaican Jerk Curry came out as a very spicy and flavorful dish to eat over rice. I'm not afraid of habaneros any longer... well, maybe just a little.

1lb of chicken (see note)
2Tbs of grated ginger
3 cloves of grated garlic
1Tbs of canola oil
2Tbs of malt vinegar (or any vinegar)
1 (2inch) stick of cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp brown sugar
1 (15oz) can of diced tomatoes
3 Tbs of soy sauce
5-6 cloves (or 1/4 tsp of ground clove)

1 tsp of dried thyme
1Tbs of Paprika
2 Tbs of Worcestershire Sauce
2-3 Scotch bonnet/Habanero Peppers minced
1 Tbs Curry powder (I used McCormick Brand)
1 cup of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent
1onion chopped
juice of half a lemon
Optional vegetables:
1 cup of Bell peppers sliced
2 cups of frozen peas

Note about chicken:  You can use boneless or bone in chicken cut into small pieces or ground chicken.  I love the ease of ground chicken.  So that's what I used.

Note about Habanero Peppers: If you want to control the heat, seed your peppers.  I actually wanted it spicy so I used 3 seeded and 2 unseeded for spice.


Cut up all your vegetables and get all your powdered spices together.  I suggest you use caution when cutting the habaneros. I decided to put them in a small food processor with the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and mince them.
  Heat 1Tbs of canola oil in a large pan on medium high heat.  Add your chicken and brown slightly.  Then add your onions, bell peppers,  ginger and garlic and brown with the chicken for a few minutes.  Next add your cinnamon, ground spices and cloves.  Saute well for a few minutes.

Next add your canned tomatoes and saute a few minutes.

Next add your minced habanero with the Worcestershire sauce, malt vinegar, soy sauce and chicken broth.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste for salt and seasoning.

At the end of cooking add your 2 cups of frozen peas to heat through and your juice of half a lemon. Stir well and serve over rice.