Jerk Chicken Pasta

Jerk chicken pasta is one of the first things J ever made for me! It quickly became a favorite of ours after a few alfredo sauce trial and errors. I think we landed on a tasty cheese sauce that is not too heavy. I added a few veggies for some pop to the original dish as well. It is one of our many great collaborations.

Serves 4, but can easily be adjusted to feed more people
1 whole chicken, quartered
3-4 TBSP jerk paste
1 lb linguini (or any pasta you have, really)
6 oz parmesan cheese, grated (The better quality cheese you use, the better the sauce will turn out, but you don’t have to get super expensive. Just a step above Kraft shaky cheese would do)
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 bell peppers
1 bunch green onions
salt and pepper to taste

1. First fabricate your chicken, alternatively you can use pre-cut chicken. I am a nerd and freeze my chicken carcasses to make homemade stock, so I prefer to buy whole chickens.
2. Rub the paste into the chicken, and refrigerate anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Obviously, the longer the better, but it will still be delicious and flavorful after just 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile dice your red bell peppers and green onions.
4. Mash your butter and parmesan cheese into a consistent ball of yum. Season with black pepper.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Prepare a roasting pan for the chicken. I used a wire baking rack on top of a sheet pan. Ideally, you would have something to lift the chicken up off a sheet pan to allow hot air to flow on both sides of the chicken. If you can’t make that happen, no worries, just line a sheet pan with tin foil.
6. Lightly oil a saute pan, and heat to medium high.
7. Sear off the chicken, in batches, until golden and crispy. I started with the legs and thighs, since they take longest to cook. Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to the rack in the oven to cook all the way through. Cook chicken for 10-15 minutes in the oven, until the flesh is white and the juices run clear.

8. While the chicken is finishing in the oven, saute the red bell peppers until just tender, seasoning with salt and pepper. Also cook the pasta to al dente, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water after straining.
10. Put the strained pasta back into the warm pot you cooked it in, add the cheese and butter ball in spoonfuls to the hot pasta and stir to melt and combine. If the cheese and butter is too thick, stream in a little pasta water to thin it out and make it creamy. The starchy water will give it a sauce-like consistency. The lack of cream or milk is a more traditional version of an alfredo sauce.
11. Toss the pasta with red bell peppers, top with chicken, garnish with green onions, and serve. It goes great with toasty bread. Who doesn’t love that stuff?


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1 Comment

  1. hippiebc

     /  07/07/2011

    my fave meal probably….that jerk sauce is by far the best. I am glad jacob and i stumbled across that long ago :-) a very successful birthday slumber party if you ask me


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