This past weekend, we felt like going a little tropical at the grill. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money at the store, so we did a run down of what was in our freezer and cupboards. We had chicken quarters that we got on sale last week. We had a Jamaican Jerk Rub in the cupboard from our Pampered Chef days. We had a bag of frozen corn.
Here’s how we put it together….Jamaican Jerk Chicken with fresh Pineapple Mango salsa and Grilled Corn Cakes. All we had to do was pick up some produce for the salsa. It’s safe to say that this was a little out of our comfort zone! We’d never made anything like this before, but we were feeling a little adventurous so we went for it! We didn’t have recipes for the chicken and salsa so we sort of made it up as we went, and it turned out delicious!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
2 chicken leg quarters (legs and thighs)
salt and pepper
jamaican jerk rub (can be found at most grocery stores)
Preheat one side of your grill to high, or if using charcoal, mound all the charcoal to one side of the grill. The reason you are doing this is that the chicken needs to be cooked with direct heat first and then indirect heat. The “indirect heat” side of the grill should be about 350° F.
Brush both sides of chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Generously season with the jerk rub on both sides of the chicken.
Place the chicken skin side down over direct heat. Grill for 5 minutes. Move to indirect hit and grill skin side up for 45 minutes or until temp reaches 170°F. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes.
Pineapple Mango Salsa
Prep Time: 30 minutes
1/4 of small pineapple
1/4 of small red onion
1/2 red pepper
1 handful of ciltantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
Chop all ingredients and mix in a medium bowl. Set the salsa aside for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can come together and the salt can draw out a little moisture.
Grilled Corn Cakes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup plain breadcrumbs, divided
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, pulse the corn into a chunky puree. Place in a medium bowl. Add the cheese, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Form the mixture into 9 balls and then flatten into patties, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Coat the patties in the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and brush with olive oil.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Grill until toasted, 4 to 5 minutes each side.
We saw the grilled corn cakes on an episode of Giada at Home recently and knew that we wanted to try them very soon. This was the perfect meal for it. They were sweet, smokey and crispy. MMMmmm.
The chicken was perfectly cooked. It wasn’t undercooked at all, nor was it dry and overcooked. Using both the direct and indirect grilling method really helped it to cook perfectly. And the pineapple mango salsa that went with it…holy cow. It was incredible. +10 awesome points to Sarah for just making that up.
Our tropical getaway at home was a success! If only we were a little closer to the water. We’ll keep dreaming!
Do you have an island getaway dream? If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be?