Lots of options in preparing chicken

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Tuesday, October 2, 2012 9:54am
  • Life

You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again, too. There are endless good reasons to fix chicken, and today we have two of them.

Everett cook Gary Hinz tells us, “I’ve made this jerk chicken many times. You can marinate it ahead of time and bake, then finish it off on the barbecue outdoors or indoors on a grill. After baking, it can be put in a slow cooker and popped out and finished when guests arrive.

“I picked it up on the show ‘Melting Pot’ from Cheryl Smith.”

Our second offering, another of chef Heather Hunsaker’s creations (www.foodonthetable.com), is an easy-do crockpot fix-it that simmers the chicken in a snappy Southwestern-style sauce and goes to the table with a choice of toppings.

Jerk chicken

1/2 of 1 whole nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon whole cloves

6 whole allspice

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2-3 Scotch Bonnet peppers (seeds and veins removed, if desired)

Leaves picked from 10 sprigs thyme

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces) of a pack of thighs, wings or drumsticks

Salt

Turn nutmeg, cinnamon stick, coriander seed, cloves, allspice and peppercorns into skillet and toast, watching carefully to keep from scorching, until aromatic. Set aside to cool, then grind.

Turn green onions, regular onion, peppers and thyme leaves into a blender or food processor and puree; turn into a bowl. Stir in spices, lime juice, soy sauce and sugar, mixing thoroughly.

Score chicken and season with salt. Spoon desired amount of jerk marinade over chicken and rub into the scores. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chicken for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cook on the barbecue until chicken is cooked through (juices should run clear when poked with a fork).

If or when the weather rules out the barbecue grill finish, run chicken under the oven broiler, and broil, turning frequently, until chicken is cooked through and liquids run clear, taking care not to scorch during the broiling period.

Crockpot Santa Fe chicken

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans

1 cup frozen corn

1 can (14.5 ounces) fat-free chicken broth

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast

Hot cooked rice or tortillas

Toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, sliced green onions or fresh cilantro

In the crockpot, combine the tomatoes with chilies, black beans, corn, chicken broth, garlic and onion powders, cumin and chili powder. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste and place in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return to crockpot and stir in. Adjust salt and pepper. Cover and cook another 30 minutes. Serve over rice or with tortillas, topped with desired toppings.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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