Well it's Friday and what an exciting week it's been, with London Cocktail Week, Frankfurt Book Fair and a fantastic collection of our autumn titles hitting the shelves yesterday. One of these books inspired a Sandwich Day in the office on Tuesday and we have to admit that sandwiches have been on our mind ever since!
At the launch of the book, 101 Sandwiches, the guests (and us!) were lucky enough to taste some of Helen Graves’ amazing creations and so we thought we would share one of these recipes with you! It might not be the barbeque season, but Helen’s evening proved that a good sarnie, some good company and a little optimism about the weather is all you’ll ever need for a good time! So this weekend you might want to hunt some jumpers out (and maybe the big umbrella!) and have a go at this… truly one of the tastiest chicken sandwiches you’ll ever make!
Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple Salsa
The cornerstone flavors of jerk are allspice berries, Scotch bonnet chilies, and thyme. It must be cooked on a BBQ, preferably a “jerk drum,” and there should be plenty of smoke. It's fun to soak some allspice berries in water and chuck them into the coals; this creates a beautifully scented smoke and a bit of food theater for guests if nothing else.
FOR THE JERK CHICKEN:
11/2 tbsp allspice berries, ground to a powder
1/4 cup (55g) dark brown packed (muscovado) sugar
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
A bunch of large scallions (spring onions)—about 5
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 fresh Scotch bonnet chilies, seeded
Juice of 2 large limes
Slug of dark rum
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
4 chicken legs (or other chicken pieces of an equivalent size)
Extra allspice berries soaked in water (optional)
FOR THE PINEAPPLE SALSA:
1 tsp runny honey
Juice of 1–2 limes
1 small fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
A small bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 white rolls, to serve
To make the marinade for the jerk chicken, put all the ingredients, except the chicken and soaked allspice berries, in a blender and whizz together until smooth. Smother the marinade over the chicken legs, rubbing it in well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Allow the meat to come to room temperature and brush or wipe off most of the excess marinade before grilling the chicken on the BBQ. To set up your BBQ for the indirect cooking method, light the coals in the middle in a kind of volcano shape, then wait for the flames to disappear, leaving you with coals that have a light gray ash coating. Move them to the sides. This gets the indirect heat circulating around the kettle when you put the lid on. I find it helps to also brush the grate with a little oil. Chuck the soaked allspice berries into the coals before you start cooking, if using. The chicken pieces will probably take about 30 minutes to cook (although it depends on size)—always check that the juices run clear before serving.
While the chicken is cooking, make the pineapple salsa. Mix the honey with the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Mix this with all the other ingredients in a larger bowl, plus some salt and pepper. Add more lime juice to taste, if necessary.
To serve, split the rolls, fill with the hot cooked chicken meat (discarding the bones), top with the salsa, and serve.
Helen Graves' new book, 101 Sandwiches, is available here.
Some other suggestions you may enjoy include :-
Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!