Jerk chicken with jerk sauce, fried plantain and sweet potato crisps


For the chicken stock
For the jerk chicken
For the jerk sauce
For the vegetables
To serve

Preparation method

  1. For the stock, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the chopped chicken carcass until coloured all over. Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek, thyme and garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan, discarding the carcass. Boil the stock hard to reduce by half.

  2. For the chicken, place the seasoning, the garlic and the thyme in a bowl and mix well. Remove the skin from the chicken and make diagonal slashes in the flesh. Place the chicken in the marinade and turn over to coat thoroughly with the mixture. Set aside for 20 minutes.

  3. For the jerk sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and gently fry the leek, celery, spring onion, garlic and thyme for 2-3 minutes. Add the jerk seasoning, Everyday Seasoning, sugar and tomato purée and cook for two more minutes. Add 250ml/9fl oz of the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce appears too thin, thicken it with a teaspoon of cornflour dissolved in a little cold water.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  5. For the chicken, heat a non-stick ovenproof pan until very hot, shake the marinade off the chicken breasts and place them in the hot pan smooth-side down. Cook for four minutes until well browned. Turn the chicken over and cook for another four minutes.

  6. Place the chicken into the oven and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through (the juices will run clear when the meat is pierced at the thickest part with a skewer). Remove and allow the chicken to relax for a few minutes. Before serving, pull the small tender 'fillet' away from the underside of the chicken breasts and slice the breasts in half lengthways. This gives three pieces of chicken per serving.

  7. Place a little chicken stock in another pan, bring to the boil and quickly blanch the strips of peppers.

  8. Place the vegetable oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat until a small cube of bread sizzles and turns golden when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  9. Cut the plantain into diagonal slices approximately 1cm/½in thick and deep fry in the hot oil for a few minutes until the flesh appears golden. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  10. Use a vegetable peeler to trim long paper-thin slices from the sweet potato. Fry these in the hot oil for a few seconds until crisp. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  11. To serve, place a mound of the blanched peppers in the centre of warm serving plates. Top with a small chicken 'fillet' and then build up the two halves of breast to form a pyramid. Surround with slices of fried plantain and carefully spoon the jerk sauce over the chicken. Balance some sweet potato crisps on top of the chicken and garnish with the coriander, chives and strips of spring onion.

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