Monday, April 14

Bahamian Jerk Chicken Skewers with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Spiced grilled chicken skewers with a sweet salsa, inspired by our trip to Abaco

Bahamian Jerk Chicken

This is another recipe inspired by our trip to Abaco in March. We had a chef come to our house and cook a few nights while we were there, and we all loved the jerk chicken skewers she made for us. I had gotten in the habit of going over to the kitchen after we ate and asking for the recipes to some of the dishes we had, and she would happily rattle off the ingredients and steps in a relaxed way, never specifying actual measurements. For the jerk chicken, she said, "it's just chicken and jerk seasoning and a little oil", so that's exactly how I made it at home. Unlike Jamaican jerk seasoning, Bahamian jerk is not very spicy and focuses more on the flavors of allspice and cinnamon than hot peppers. I ended up using the jerk chicken and fish seasoning from Penzey's Spices and thought that is was a close match to what we had on our trip. For a little California spin on the dish, I like to serve the chicken with a mango and avocado salsa spooned on top. The sweet and creamy relish adds a ton of flavor and texture to the grilled meat and really makes the dish special.

More Recipes from Our Trip to the Bahamas:
- Bahamian Peas and Rice
- Lobster Hash

Bahamian Jerk Chicken Skewers with Mango-Avocado Salsa:
For Salsa
  • Peel and dice 1 large, ripe mango (or 2 small) and mince 1/2 Fresno chile and put in a bowl.
  • Add in 2 peeled and diced ripe avocados and 1 tsp. lime juice and gently toss together.
  • Set aside.*
For Chicken
  • Cut 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 2 inch pieces.
  • Toss the chicken with 1/4 c. jerk seasoning, 1-2 tbsp. canola oil, and salt,** making sure to rub the seasoning well into the meat.
  • Thread the chicken pieces onto 8 skewers, dividing the chicken evenly among them.
  • Ideally, let the chicken rest in the fridge for a few hours and then let sit at room temperature 20 minutes before grilling.
  • Heat a grill to high and cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the outside has charred in some areas and the inside is cooked through.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then serve with the mango-avocado salsa.

Serves four
*Don't prepare the salsa more than 45 minutes in advance or the avocados will turn brown.
**My jerk seasoning didn't include salt, so I added it separately. Check your seasoning's label before adding salt.