Sunday, October 17, 2010

Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs

Eggtoberfest 2010 is just a memory now. What a blast. I'm going to recount the event over the next week or so. With each post, I'll also post a recipe that utilizes something I learned at the event.

Eggtoberfest Review - Part 1: Products
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 2: People
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 3: Tips
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 4: Chef Demonstrations

Today I'm going to talk about some of the products featured at the event.

The recipe I'm doing is an easier variation of my normal Jerk Chicken. But I've replaced the lengthy list of spices and herbs with Dizzy Pig Jamaican Firewalk rub.

Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs

3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp Jamaican Firewalk rub (or other jerk rub)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 ea chicken breasts, boneless skinless, cut into 1" cubes
6 jalapenos (optional but you want them. No, you really do)

Mix the first four ingredients. Then slowly pour the oil into the mixture, whisking briskly. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for 3-4 hours. Note: When I'm normally use whole bone in thighs, I marinate them longer.

Cut the jalapenos in half, remove the seeds with a spoon, and then cut the halves in half. That would be quartered, in case you are bad at math like me. Basically you want 1" cube pieces. If you are totally afraid of heat, you can use bell peppers instead. If you are a chili head, use habaneros instead.

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers alternating with pieces of jalapeno.

Set up your grill for direct grilling at a temperature of 350f.

It's the little things that count and here is a tip I got from Shawn, a rep from FireWire flexible skewers. I told him that I already had a set but he spent a good bit giving me tips and ideas anyway. Before I was just happy enough to use the FireWires to have skewers that fit inside an Egg since they bend. But he showed me if you thread the 'skewer' end through the 'loop' end, you can just flip it easily with the skewer end. FREAKING AWESOME and EASY!

Grill for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Using the FireWires with the skewer end out, it only took 2 seconds and no oven mitts since I kept the 'skewer' end out of the grill.
After 8 minutes, remove from heat.

Serve with Caribbean Peas and Rice. Here's a completely inauthentic variation I made.

Firewalk Beans & Rice
1 Tbsp bacon grease (or butter or fat of your choice)
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups water (already boiling if cooking on grill)
1 can Bush's Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Fire Ant Juice (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 tsp Jamaican Firewalk rub (or other jerk rub)
1/4 cup green onion, sliced

Melt the bacon fat in a cast iron dutch oven over a 325f fire.

Add the rice and onions, sauteing until the onion is soft and the rice turning golden, as you would when making a rice pilaf. Add the water, beans, tomato past, hot sauce and rub. (If cooking on grill, switch to indirect heat now). Stir, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes, until rice is done.

Note: If cooking this on the grill, be careful to keep the heat at 325-350 or below or you will scorch the rice. You might have to stir the rice a few times and add some water near the 12-15 minute time frame.

We served it up all together. Honestly, I just used the peppers to keep the chicken separated for a quicker cook but damn, I'm glad I added them. They roasted perfectly with the chicken and smelled intoxicating, like ABT's.

With the first bite of chicken, I got a ton of flavor but not much heat and was thinking I was going to be disappointed. But about 1/2 second later, I felt something growing. A slight burning sensation, just enough heat.

This turned out exquisitely, both the rice and the chicken. After cleaning her plate, Alexis said that we should cook this next year at the Eggtoberfest. Did I mention that I am a lucky guy?

Thank you to ALL sponsors and vendors that supported this event. Here are a few of the products that caught my eye at the Eggtoberfest.

  • Dizzy Pig BBQ Rubs - Easily THE most popular rubs used by Eggheads. I have not tried them for 2 1/2 years specifically because EVERYBODY else was using them. I like to do my own thing and not follow the sheeple. In retrospect, not trying these because everyone else was is just as baseless as trying them because everyone else did. This rub rocks.
  • FireWire Kabobs - I already had a set of these but picked up some good tips from Shawn on how to use them better. Plus their marinating kit produced some really tasty veggie kabobs at the event.
  • Big Green Egg - Duh, right?
  • GrillGrates - The jury is still out on these for me. I know they would be great (grate?) for someone who isn't well versed in fire control. Part of me wonders if they would act as a hybrid direct/indirect cook that could be useful in situations. [Note: the jury is still out comment is because I haven't actually used these myself. They caught my eye though. ]
  • Carnivore BBQ Sauces - bought 2 bottles of Big'Uns sauces to try later this week.
  • American Outdoor Kitchens - Excellent looking outdoor kitchen cabinets made from 100% post consumer recycled products. Looks great, is weatherproof, and it's a modular system that you can add to or rearrange later.
  • Select Outdoor Kitchens - Different but another fantastic outdoor kitchen system. I like the finish work on this set a little better and the fact that they engineered out some of the hardware (rollers that break down in a few years vs. the long lifetime these systems are designed to last).
Today's lessons:
[Standard Review Disclaimer] applies but I paid full price for this stuff.