Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sandwiches with Pineapple-Jalapeno-Arugula Slaw
I've got one thing to say about this sandwich: holy crap, it's GOOD.
Talk about flavor!! If there's one thing I've learned about Jamaican Jerk, it's all about the aromatic seasoning and spices. Oh, and the all-spice and hot peppers, of course.
Traditional jerk seasoning calls for scotch bonnet peppers - the grocery stores in my area don' sell them, so I sub in habaneros. They bring the heat, don't worry. The marinade is incredibly tasty and just a little bit kicky. It does a great job of taking this chicken to the next level. And that slaw? Mmmmm. It brings a little sweetness to offset some of the heat....oh, so, good.
A little backstory: this sandwich was inspired by a good friend of mine. He makes and sells incredibly delicious barbecue sauces in the Inland Northwest. His original pepper sauce is off the charts good - and I've got plans for that! - but his Jamaican Jerk sauce is out-of-bounds. Sweet with some heat. Just the way I like it. It's the perfect saucy topper for this #meancuisine-themed sammie. Check him out at Booey's Gourmet!
Fire up the grill and treat yo self to these Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sandwiches! Your taste buds will thank you.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sandwiches
with Pineapple-Jalapeno-Arugula Slaw
Prep Time: 4 hours (includes marinade time)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Jamaican Jerk Chicken:
1-1/2lbs - 2lbs chicken breasts or chicken thighs
1/2 sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 green onions, roughly chopped (green leaf and bulb)
3 garlic gloves, minced
1 habanero, stem + seeds + membrane removed
1-1/2 tsp whole all all-spice, roughly chopped
1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 fresh pineapple, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (stem + seeds + membrane removed)
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 handful arugula
salt + pepper
Jamaican Jerk Sauce - I use Booey's Gourmet Sweet Jamaican Jerk
hamburger buns - I use Dave's Killer Bread 21 Grains & Seeds Buns
Let's make the marinade! Add the following to a large food processor: chopped sweet onion, chopped green onion, minced garlic, habanero, chopped ginger, chopped all-spice, ground nutmeg, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, soy sauce and vegetable oil. Blend until smooth.
Add chicken and marinade to a Ziploc bag, release as much air as possible and close bag. Move chicken and marinade around so that chicken is fully coated. Store in fridge for at least four hours.
While the chicken is marinading, make the Pineapple-Jalapeno-Arugula Slaw. Combine diced pineapple, jalapeno and cilantro to a mixing bowl. Season with salt + pepper. Stir to combine. Using a cocktail muddler, slightly break down pineapple so that some of the juices are released. Add arugula and stir to combine. Store in fridge until ready to use.
Heat a grill to medium-high heat, or heat a pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Remove chicken from bag, making sure to shake some of the excess marinade off. Cook the chicken until no longer pink in the middle, about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to flip chicken about half way through the cooking process.
While chicken is cooking, toast buns on either the stove or grill. Use a little oil to do this!
When chicken is cooked through, remove from heat and let it rest for about five minutes. Cut up chicken into pieces.
To assemble your sandwiches, layer chicken with Jamaican Jerk Sauce and slaw on your toasted buns! Enjoy!