It’s now the second day of the year and I am just returning to the land of the living. In my last post I was on the sofa, hoping for a swift recovery from my viral illness. However, that was not meant to be and I went rapidly downhill. I never made it to the family Christmas dinner, I was so disappointed and even shed a few tears, but I had a loving husband who tended to my every need. I could not complain. By New Year’s Eve, I was starting to feel more myself and I crept back into the kitchen. I had last week found a recipe for jerk chicken in a Tom Kerridge cookbook that was given to me as a 40th birthday present. I had originally planned to make this a part of a birthday menu for my husband but when the day came, I was too exhausted to think about anything other than putting together the simplest of breakfasts for him. When I was feeling better, the thought and eventual smell of the marinade was healing within itself. The final product was delicious and formed part of a cozy little NYE meal for two.
1 medium-large chicken, about 1.7kg, jointed into 8 pieces
For the marinade
1 large onion, roughly chopped
125g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml dark soy sauce
200ml white wine vinegar
40g freshly ground pepper
35g ground allspice
3tbsp thyme leaves
- First make the marinade. Put the onions and ginger into a food processor and blend to a smooth, fine pulp. Add the soy sauce, wine vinegar, black pepper, allspice and thyme leave and whizz again to blend in the spices.
- Put the chicken pieces into a large container. Pour over the marinade and, using your hands, massage it all over the chicken pieces, making sure each piece is well coated. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop and intensify.
- The next day, remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 190oC/Fan 170oC/Gas 5. Place a wire rack inside a large, deep roasting tin and pour 2cm of water into the tin. This will steam the chicken during roasting, making it deliciously tender and succulent.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them on the rack. Roast in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until cooked through, basting a couple of times with the juices from the roasting tray and some of the marinade. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part with a skewer, or the internal temperature registers 70oC on a meat thermometer.
- Preheat the grill to high. Place the chicken pieces under the hot grill for a few minutes until richly glazed and dark brown.
- Once grilled and nicely glazed, leave the chicken pieces to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before serving. Serve simply, with rice and a nice crisp green salad.