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Mother’s Day was a lot of fun for me, but frankly, it was exhausting!

I loved every minute of it, of course, but the next day, I felt I needed another day of relaxation!

Oh, it was lovely for my family to plan such a jam-packed activity-filled day, but when it was over, I wanted to get a massage!

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but seriously, this body can only take so much!

However! I thank you, family! Very much! I love You!

Part of the planned activities for the day was to go eat Caribbean food. I’ve been talking about the jerk lately at home, and the family took notice. I’m not talking about the crazy ex-fiancé we call The Jerk (Have I told you the story?) or Steve Martin. I’m talking about the very aromatic Jamaican Jerk Spice.

Jamaican Jerk is such a charming, intriguing, and memorable name for a dish that the first time I had it, I immediately set out to investigate about it. I bought a Caribbean cookbook, probably the first cookbook I’ve ever bought and owned. It was natural, then, that the first meal I cooked for hubby (BF then) was a Caribbean meal, which included Jerk Pork. I’m so glad he didn’t think I was sending him a subtle message, because I didn’t.

Unfortunately for hubby, he wasn’t able to enjoy his meal on Mother’s Day. It was all too spicy hot for him. He enjoyed his appetizer of curried chicken patty, but he took only a couple of bites of his entrée.

That’s why today’s dinner is Jerk Chicken, served with Rice and Peas and Fried Plantains. On the mild side, so everybody can enjoy it. As for me, I added hot sauce in mine. So utterly satisfying!

jerk chicken

jerk chicken

Jerk Chicken

8 chicken legs or thighs
1 tsp allspice berries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp raw sugar
2 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
(Keep the seeds or use a scotch bonnet pepper if you prefer spicy.)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp oil
Additional salt, if needed

1. Toast the dry spices briefly in a small skillet, then grind in a coffee grinder until fine.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients, except for chicken, in a blender, and process until smooth.
3. Add the dry spices and mix until you have a paste.
4. Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces, then cover them with the spice paste, making sure that all sides are coated.
5. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
6. Preheat grill. Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess liquid.
7. Brush chicken with oil, and grill for about 30 minutes or until completely cooked, turning frequently.
8. Alternately, you can broil chicken in the oven for about 45 minutes, turning once.
9. Serve with rice and peas and fried plantains.

rice and peas

Rice and Peas

This is more like rice and beans. The reason it’s called rice and peas is because fresh pigeon peas were originally used in Jamaica. Kidney beans are now more often used.

1 1/2 cups cooked pigeon peas or kidney beans
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 1/2 cups rice (long-grain or brown)
1 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups water
Salt & pepper

1. Rinse and drain rice.
2. Mix coconut milk and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir.
3. Reduce heat and cover the pan.
4. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed, and rice is tender.

Rice and beans are always good served alongside any meat or vegetables, not just jerk chicken. But, if you have a son who loathes beans in his rice and bones in his meat, you serve him a different kind of rice and boneless meat, of course. After all, as a mom, you want to make your family happy. Especially the family who planned a day just so she had fun.

jerk chicken

The family took me to Sunset Beach, so I could see this:

sunset beach cape may
The last time I went to Sunset Beach, I found a diamond.