I’ve been holding on to summer for dear life. I’m in total denial that it’s time for the seasons to change. Sometimes I think that if I just commit to wearing these flip-flops in spite of that black cloud hovering over top of me, maybe, just maybe, God will honor my commitment and push pause on the torrential down pour. So far my plan isn’t working.
I do love Fall though. I just don’t like the fact that it brings me one season closer to the winter. What I really enjoy is that Fall = CROCKPOT SEASON. Why? Hell I don’t know but I love a good slow cooker meal.
What still surprises me is how many people my age still have never used or own a slow cooker. I’m telling ya, if that person is you, you’re playing yourself. It is by far the most efficient way to cook for the busy professional. I mean who doesn’t love moist, tender, fall off the bone meat that all you had to do is dump in a pot and show back up 4 hours later. The degree of quality and efficiency with this method of cooking is unprecedented. Ok, ok let me stop this hard sell (blame business school) and let me tell you about this slow cooker Jerk Chicken I just made 3 ways.
So I am all about food prep life but if I food prep for the week, I need to know how to smack it up, flip it and rub it down so that it doesn’t taste the same every time I eat it. I like to with different ways to dish up the same food so that it doesn’t get boring. So with that in mind, I started by making a delicious and spicy jerk seasoning. Note: that the recipe calls for 4 seeded scotch bonnet peppers but you can reduce the number based on what you can handle. But if you can’t take the heat … you know the rest.
From there it is simple city. I just seasoned my chicken thighs with salt and pepper, added them to my slow cooker and poured over the jerk marinade. These bad boys cooked covered on low for 4 hours while I watched a spree of ratchet TV – no shame. By the way does anyone know how to accurately spell “ratchet” in this context?
When I came back to the pot 4 hours later I found the chicken thighs bathing in their own juices and the Caribbean spices. When I tell you that the smell that permeates the air in nothing less than less that perfection I mean it. I literally started chopping my gums at the aroma.
Ok so now lets break down how to serve the jerk chicken 3 ways. The easiest thing to do from here is to serve the chicken as is or throw it over traditional rice and peas. I decided to add a little twist and served it over mango lime rice. Be aware that when using the slow cooker juices are extracted from the chicken resulting in additional broth that causes the chicken to be very moist. If you prefer a crispier skin simply remove move the chicken from the pot onto a lined baking sheet and place under the broiler for a few minutes to achieve a nice char.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken and Mango Lime Rice
The next option is to make some good ole’ ramen. After you remove the chicken from the pot add in water, ramen pack, mushrooms and chili oil and crank the pot to high for 7-10 minutes. Serve sliced jerk chicken over a warm bowl of the ramen noodles and add toppings like mushrooms, carrots, eggs, cilantro and more hot peppers!!! This is sure to clear up a runny nose.
Finally the last quick remix is to make sliders. Simply use a fork to pull apart the tender meat and add it on top of Hawaiian rolls. The addition of this chunky cucumber sauce refreshes the dish and cools off the tongue.