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Happy New Year to you one and all!

I am now back on my veranda enjoying the summer sun of New Zealand, after holidaying in the UK and USA, and I am looking forward to getting into the summer asparagus, Despite being laid up for 10 days with the flu, I had a wonderful time, tasted some great foods and managed to get conned into a doing some cooking demonstrations, visiting a few kitchens and chefs and made many new friends.

The UK amazed me at the produce that is now readily available, but also shocked me at the amount of pre-packaged meals also available. It saddens me that people are loosing the time or ability to cook home made meals; still I guess it means its great business for us professional chefs.

Sometimes it's the simplest of foods that give the greatest pleasure; for all the complex dishes I cooked or tried, there is nothing like walking around New York in winter, chewing on an oversized, fresh, delicately textured pretzel that was generously sprinkled with rock salt, or trying a kosher pickle straight from the barrel or dare I say it a real hotdog with a lovingly smoked frankfurter topped off with sauerkraut!

Though I did enjoy the dinner party my brother and I cooked for a group of non-meat eating friends, I would love to share some photos with you but I left the cable to my digital camera in the UK, so I am awaiting its arrival. However the menu was:

Essence of fresh chanterelle

Cold salmon supremes poached in a Chablis, served on
a rocket salad with a cashew nut dressing

Fresh Thai crab cakes, nestled on a rosti potato, Asian salad of carrot, courgette and onion julienne, finished with a lime and sweet chilli sauce

Grand Marnier flavoured crème brulée

Belgian chocolate mousse encased in spun sugar

Ornately carved fresh fruit platter

But enough of my ravings, lets get cooking! This week I thought a dish that would not only suit those in the northern hemisphere winter but also here down under. It is a favourite of mine from my time in Jamaica and I will be preparing this dish on Saturday to take with me to BBQ when I go to the big horse race meeting here. While barbecuing is best, it can be equally successful if you slowly grill it in your oven. Served with a crisp salad and slices of fresh melon, this is simply one of the greatest ways I have ever tasted chicken.

Ingredients for Jamaican Jerk Chicken

vegetable oil 300 ml
onion - coarsely chopped 1 pc
spring onions - coarsely chopped 3 pc
each chillies Habanero 2 pc
ginger fresh - chopped 1 tbs
each garlic cloves - chopped 4 pc
fresh thyme 1 tbs
balsamic vinegar 2 tbs
brown sugar 1 tbs
ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp
ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp
ground cloves 1/4 tsp
ground allspice (Jamaican if possible) 1 ½ tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
fresh ground black pepper 1/4 tsp
lime juice 2 tbs
red rum 2 tbs
tamarind (or the juice of ½ lemon) 1 tbs
chicken thighs without skin 8 pc

How to make Jamaican Jerk Chicken

  • Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a food processor and puree until almost smooth
  • Place chicken in a glass casserole or similar and pierce chicken with the tip of a small knife or skewer at least 20 times
  • Pour marinade over chicken and rub into pieces
  • Cover and refrigerate 24 - 48 hours depending on intensity required
  • Prepare a slow burning and smoky (this is important) charcoal fire, remove chicken from marinade and grill over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until done

Chef's Tip

Go on use your fingers!

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Enjoy your Jamaican Jerk Chicken and bon appetit . . . . .

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand