We’re keeping it simple today like whoa whoa super super simple. Kick yer feet up. Grab a magazine. Actually, don’t, because this is going to be done so fast you won’t even have time to say Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.
Before I really get into the chicken, I just have to say that this morning I am totally coming down from a girls’ weekend high. This weekend a group of four of us girlfraaands from college decided to vacay out to Aspen for some girl-talking and hiking and fly fishing (<–?!?!?) and laughing and constant snacking and ultimate relaxing. On a awesomeness scale of one to ten, it was a twelve. So if I start getting all saggy shoulders and puppy dog eyes in the middle of this post, please put me on a plane back to Aspen with the girls.
I’ll have a full post with more pictures from our trip coming up towards the end of this week, but for now you can check the weekend snapshots on Insta – our trippy hashtag was #littleonestakeco as in Little-Ones-Take-CO, but Bjork told me last night that he thought it was supposed to be Little-One-Stake-Co, with the wrong spelling of steak. Mmmmk, where can I take a class on hashtagging?
So I’m not normally one to have *just chicken* for dinner. Can we agree that what’s said here stays here? Because I have some things I need to say to you about chicken and I don’t want this getting around. Chicken is not my most awesome food love. It’s delish IN things (preferably things with all kinds of crazy flavors and textures and gallons of delicious homemade sauces) but sometimes the plain old chicken breast is just not grabby enough for me. I like things that take me for a wild food ride, and chicken is usually more of the kind of food that turns my world grey.
That. Being. Said.
THIS Super Simple Jerk Chicken is a game changer for no-chicken-me. First of all, I think I mentioned that it is done and ready for your mouth in about three seconds flat. Hungry much?
But more importantly, it’s loaded (I mean, l-o-a-d-e-d possibly to the point of obsession, as you might see with that there picture) with spicy cayenne, textured black pepper, warm allspice, and caramely sweet brown sugar. Now that is one beautiful flavor bomb of yummy chicken.
I’m think I’m changing my mind about *just chicken* for dinner. Foreal.
Today is a big day! It’s back to school for all my teacher friends, my former students, my Minnesota people.
Dinner after the first day of school is always a big decision. Oh, you’re not one of those people who wakes up in the morning thinking about dinner? Hmm. Sad. Would it be best if someone would take you to the India Palace for palak aloo and vegetable curry and basmati rice and all the garlic naan that you can possibly stuff into your mouth for the post-first-day-of-school Special Dinner for Teachers? Yes, it would. That used to be our little back to school tradition, but now, you know, no school for me (sniff) so no Special Dinner for Teachers. Oh that garlic naan, so warm and soft in my hands and so perfectly filling after a long, mentally and physically and exhausting and completely fun day? That meal was something I looked forward to all year long.
The good news is that instead of being at the India Palace, I am at home making this spicy – check! – sweet – check! – fragrant – check! juicy chicken that can be a meal in and of itself OR can be tossed in salads, pasta, casseroles, and best of them all: pizza.
You guys, the real reason I am posting this (sometimes it takes me a while LIKE TWELVE PARAGRAPHS to come around to the main thing) is that I have a super exciting pizza for tomorrow that requires you to have some of this jerk chicken sliced up and ready in your fridge. I mean, not really, because you COULD use plain chicken instead. But then we’d all feel sad for you and your pizza tomorrow would be a little less awesome.
Make this jerk chicken tonight, love its inner spicy-sweet juiciness and its dark brown textured exterior. Eat it on whatever you want, enjoy all the time you’re gaining with such a quickie meal, and save a few sliced pieces for tomorrow’s cheesy, spicy, colorful pizza explosion.
Same time same place? See you there.
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Combine all the spices, brown sugar, and oil in a small bowl. Preheat a skillet or grill to high heat.
- Rub the spice mixture over the chicken breasts (I had the best luck doing this with my hands). You can layer the spice mixture on the chicken as thick or thin as you like - there should be enough to cover about 4 large chicken breasts or 1½ lbs. Place the spice-rubbed chicken breasts on the hot grill or skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until the exterior is very deep, dark brown and the inside is no longer pink.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes to let the juices soak in before cutting.