Wheat Beer Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa By: Nick Hack
With summer almost over and Labor Day right upon us. I thought I would help you end the season with a bang. I love recipes that use seasonal ingredients and can help get me into the season. This one in particular helps transport you right to the tropics with the fresh citrus and heat from the cayenne and red pepper in the seasoning. I used a wheat beer as many contain some orange peel and a little spice that goes well with the chicken.
This dish can be prepared several days in advance allowing the flavors in the marinade and salsa to really mix and mingle. Today’s recipe can easily be increased for a large party to serve a large crowd.
Wheat Beer Jerk Chicken
with Pineapple Salsa
1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
12 oz. Wheat Beer
½ cup orange juice
3 Tbs. Jerk Seasoning
2 cups diced pineapple
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup diced red pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by trimming off any excess fat from chicken breast. In a plastic container add beer, orange juice and 2 Tbs. jerk seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and marinate for minimum or 3-4 hours, preferably 10-12 hours.
While the chicken is marinating you can start the salsa. Peel the pineapple and slice into long pieces.
Next dice the pineapple, pepper, and onion and add into a bowl.
Chop the cilantro and add to the rest of the salsa ingredients along with the remaining 1 Tbs. of olive oil, mix well and refrigerate until further use.
When you are ready to prepare the chicken, pull it out of the marinade and pat off any excess liquid. I like to cook this on a grill outdoors but it can also be prepared on a stove top. Cook chicken for 5 mins. on each side until it reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees.
When ready to serve, cut open a nice crusty roll such as a ciabbata and toast on a grill top or under your broiler until toasted. Place the chicken breast on the roll and top with the salsa. If you have a party and wish to serve as an appetizer, slice the chicken into small pieces and serve on dinner rolls or even Hawaiian sweet rolls.
This recipe is designed to be on the mild side as far as the heat index goes. You can increase the heat to appease your palate. Some great side dishes for this sandwich are sweet potatoes fries or chips, sweet plantains or even a nice slaw. Feel free to experiment and add on to this recipe, try adding some cheddar cheese or even making a jerk mayo to add depth and flavor to the sandwich.