With it been Bob Marley’s birthday last week [Febuary 6th to be precise!], it reminded me of, not only how much I love Bob and his music but of how long it’s been since I’ve had Jamaican food!
I love Bob Marley and his music and I think it’s got something to do with growing up and my dad playing his hits all the time! My dads a huge fan of him and whenever I hear any Bob Marley track, I automatically think of my dad and get all nostalgic!
I also named my hamster after Bob Marley [ which I'm sure he'd be really flattered if he found out!]. Marley the hamster was the first pet I had at University and was the greatest little hamster I’ve ever had [and I've had 4 in my time!].
He was such a big bugger too! He out grew about 3 of his hamster cages and in the end I had to buy him a cage that would fit a rabbit! People even asked if I had a guinea pig in there and was surprised when this huge hamster came waddling out! He was so loved by all my friends and house mates that it was no surprise that he lived to a grand old age of 4!
Now back to the recipe…
In my second year of Uni, I ended up living with 3 amazing girls in a cockroach infested house in Moss Side [I talk about it a little here]. The house was situated next to this amazing West Indian takeaway called Cornerstones, where I would get mammoth sized portions of goat curry and rice & peas! But since moving on from the cockroach infested house, I haven’t had any West Indian food since!
So Bob Marley’s birthday reminded me of what I was missing, so that night I decided to make Jerk Chicken and Rice & Peas. My plan was to make the Jerk Chicken using Levi Root’s famous Reggae Reggae Sauce but sadly dears, it contains wheat and gluten, which meant I had to go back to the drawing board and rely on the internet to show me how to make Jerk Chicken seasoning!
However, what I discovered was that they are a billion and one recipes, a zillion flipping ways of preparing it and a trillion different sauce and spice rubs that I just didn’t know where to start! But I did find that most of the recipes seemed like they required a hundred different spices mixed together, but I eventually found a cheaper way of getting these spices, using Jerk Seasoning!
I got my seasoning from Sainsburys and it seemed like the only one that didn’t contain any wheat! So if you can’t find this Jerk seasoning, please, please, please double check to see that it’s suitable for us coeliacs! But this little beauty saved me a bob or two as I meant I wasn’t spending a small fortune on hundreds of different spices!
So using this recipe by the amazing and gorgeous Caroline MiLi Artiss as a starting point and inspiration, I made my first gluten free jerk chicken!
- 2-3 tablespoons of Jamican Jerk Seasoning
- 1 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tablespoons of Tomato Puree
- 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried Thyme
- 2 Garlic Cloves [finely chopped]
- 3 Sping Onion shoots [finely chopped]
- 1 Scotch Bonnet [but because I forgot, I used a teaspoon of chilli flakes]
- 1 tablespoon of Honey
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Handful of Fresh Thyme [I forgot to get this! But I did have some fresh coriander in, so used that instead but don't worry if you have neither]
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice [or use the juice of 1 Lemon]
- 9 Chicken drumsticks [You can use thighs, wings etc]
- In a blender, add all the ingredients and blitz them to oblivion! Now don’t fret if you don’t have a blender as I realised whilst doing this my blender is so rubbish that it couldn’t blend to save it’s life! So I had to get all the ingredients back out and mix everything together by hand!
- In a oven proof dish, put in the chicken drumsticks. Make little slits in the skin and then pour the blended seasoning over the chicken and rub it into the chicken. Then pop it in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to really marinade it!
- Before taking out the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 250C. Carefully place the marinated chicken legs in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until cooked through!
- Once cooked, carefully take out the jerk chicken from the oven. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the chicken legs until it gives it a charcoal effect!
- Now eat with your gluten free Jamican style Rice & Peas!