Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken
Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken is a great way to get introduced to Jamaican cooking. It highlights the citrus flavors used in Caribbean cooking as well as the Jamaican spice palate represented in a quality Jerk Seasoning, such as ours. The allspice, cinnamon and other spices come through nicely. Some cooks will make the spice mix into a marinade first and let the chicken set for a while in the marinade instead of just using it as a rub. The recipe usually dictates how the Jerk Seasoning is to be used.
Stuffing the chicken breasts with the pineapple mixture helps the chicken stay moist while cooking and imparts a citrusy flavor. The scallions and lime juice add extra flavor.
You can also grill the chicken outdoors. Just watch them close since they can burn and overcook just as easy on a grill as under a broiler.
Rice is a traditional Caribbean side dish, which is what we serve many of our Jamaican dishes with.
3 Tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 20 Oz Can Pineapple Chunks in Juice, Drained
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
2 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves (about 6 to 8 Ounces Each)
3 Tablespoons Canola or Safflower Oil
Cooked Rice, for Serving
In a medium mixing bowl, add the pineapple chunks, lime juice, scallions, sugar, Kosher salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside until needed.
Lay chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast. Insert the knife, cutting a pocket inside chicken without enlarging the opening. Be sure you don’t cut though the other side. Divide the pineapple stuffing evenly and pack into each breast pocket. Rub the exterior of each with oil, and sprinkle with Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for an hour to allow the flavor to develop.
Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken breasts on the sheet. Broil 10 minutes on one side. Turn over and broil another 10 or so minutes on the other side, until chicken is opaque throughout and the internal temperature of the stuffing reads 165°. Watch close so the chicken doesn’t burn since it has sugar in the seasoning. Serve stuffed chicken with rice.