Jerk chicken skewers, zesty soured cream and chive dip, sweet potato fries and charred pepper salsa
I’m very lucky to live in the south of Spain, where barbecue season is long! It was gorgeous weather yesterday, so we decided to fire up the barbecue. As is so often the case, my first point of call for inspiration was Jamie Purviance’s “The Complete Weber Barbecue Book.” I love this recipe book. It is packed full of delicious recipes, ideas for barbecuing pretty much everything and loads of suggestions for rubs, spices and marinades.
The jerk chicken skewers recipe came from this barbecuing bible, and I developed the meal from there. I’ve already posted up recipes for some of the separate elements, but if you would like the complete meal, then here it is.
You don’t actually need a barbecue for any of this recipe. The sweet potatoes and salsa can be made in the oven, and the skewers can be grilled. But that’s nowhere near as much fun!
*Barbecue tip 1 – I built up my coals on one side only of the barbecue. This meant I could cook the skewers over the direct heat, but the peppers and sweet potatoes could be cooked on the other side. It is still hot, but they haven’t got the coals directly underneath them so the bottom doesn’t burn. Jamie Purviance refers to this as direct and indirect heat.
* Barbecue tip 2 – If you are using wooden skewers, make sure you have soaked them in water first, otherwise they will burn. I soak a whole packet at a time and then freeze them, so I always have skewers ready. You can also use metal skewers.
Ingredients (serves 3)
Jerk chicken skewers
– 3 boneless chicken breasts
– 1 chilli
– 25g coriander leaves and stems
– 75ml olive oil
– 2 spring onions, chopped roughly
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon lime juice
– salt and pepper
– 3 spring onions
Sweet potato fries
– one large sweet potato
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon each of: paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried rosemary
– 2 teaspoons crispy onion bits
– salt and pepper to season
Zesty soured cream dip
– 250ml soured cream
– 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
– zest of half a lime
– 2 teaspoons chopped chives
– drizzle of honey
Charred pepper and tomato salsa
– 1 large red bell pepper
– 10 cherry tomatoes
– 6 small green poblano peppers
– 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
– olive oil
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
– salt and pepper to season
1. Put the chilli, coriander, olive oil, spring onions, garlic, ginger, sugar and lime juice in a food processor, along with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. If you’re chilli is a very hot one, you could remove the seeds first. Process until you have a smooth paste.
2. Cut the chicken into chunks, about 1.5cm thick. Cover in the paste and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
3. For the salsa, de-seed all the peppers and cut into large pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Take a large baking tray. Spread the pieces of pepper and tomato around the tray, along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well with your hands.
4. Place on indirect heat on the barbecue. Make sure the lid is on the barbecue. Leave for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
5. Mix all of the dip ingredients together. Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 mins or so.
6. Peel the sweet potato and ” target=”_blank”>Spiralize it, using the thick noodle setting. Cut any really long noodles with scissors to make curly fries. Transfer into a large bowl.
Season with the most of the oil, then all of the onion, spices, salt and pepper. Mix really well.
7. Take a large piece of tin foil and drizzle with the remaining oil. Spread the sweet potato fries out on the tin foil (more than one layer is fine). Fold the tin foil over to create a parcel.
8. Remove the peppers and tomatoes from the barbecue. Replace with the sweet potato foil parcel. Barbecue the sweet potatoes on an indirect heat for 25 minutes. Then, open the parcel slightly so some of the steam can escape and cook for 5 more minutes.
9. While the sweet potato cooks, chop the peppers and tomatoes into chunks. The size is up to you, it depends on how chunky you want your salsa to be.
Add the chopped spring onions and coriander leaves. Squeeze the soft, cooked garlic out of the papery skin and chop. Mix together thoroughly and season to taste. Set aside ready to serve.
9. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers. Alternate a piece of chicken with a slice of spring onion. Grill the skewers over a direct heat for 6-8 minutes, with the lid on. Turn once, halfway through the cooking time. Check that the meat is thoroughly cooked.
10. Serve skewers, dip, sweet potato fries and the salsa.
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