Jerk Chicken Soup, or possibly stew, maybe porridge

I should have googled it before I stated I’d never heard of it. Of course there are billions of recipes for it and so I’m adding mine to the mix.

First I want to address the cultural appropriation issue. I don’t know if this is cultural appropriation. I don’t mean to appropriate anything any more than when I make spaghetti or Indian food. I was introduced to Jamaican food in 1974 and have loved it and most of the food I’ve had in the Caribbean. And have made it ever since. I had a Caribbean themed restaurant. Even then I gave much credit to a Caribbean themed restaurant in New York named Sugar Reef owned by Jamaicans. My friend Gail had introduced me to it and I LOVED it. I took my mother there. It was fabulous. She was in her early 70s then and the servers interacted with her like she was one of them. It was an amazing and heady experience for her but I’m getting off-point. What was the point again?

My sister asked for a recipe for Jerk Chicken Soup and it is below. It’s not authentic, I’m not Jamaican after all and I make all sorts of last minute deviations, I added about a cup of leftover Spicy Clamato juice. I have no idea if that added anything to it. I’ve seen enough cooking in Jamaica to know they are not going to worry about it. Don’t have butter? Use margarine. Don’t have cabbage? Skip it. Don’t have lime, use lemon. It’s all good.

Jerk chicken soup, sorta. Possibly stew. For Patty

2 TB butter or oil

2 bnls sknls chicken breasts cut into chunks

            You can easily skip this meat part. I doubt you can even tell it’s there

1-2 tsp each dry mustard, sweet paprika, turmeric, dry thyme, coriander, allspice

            It will depend on the freshness of your spices. Don’t worry it will be fine. 

I totally wing it, I do not measure

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tsp each salt and pepper

2 cups of water

2 TB each brown sugar, Franks hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce

1 large onion chopped

Some bay leaves

1 bunch green onions sliced

2 stalks celery chopped

1 green or red bell pepper chopped

4 cups chopped cabbage

1 can beans . . . red, black, kidney, pinto whatever, juice and all

1 can of tomatoes, sauce, something tomato-y, I used crushed

2 bouillon cubes, chicken, or vegetable or whatever

¼ lime (from my own personal lime tree)

½ cup uncooked rice

Although this will be fine if you just throw all this in a pot and boil it up, it will be fine.

I start with sautéing the chicken and onions in the oil on medium heat and then adding the dry spices and let them hang out for a while like Indians do to temper the spices, don’t burn it. Then dump the water in, deglaze the pot and add the rest of the stuff except the rice. Squeeze the lime into the pot and throw the whole lime in but remove when it’s done. 

Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for an hour. Add the rice and let that cook until it’s soft, like a half hour. 

Looks complicated. It’s not. Adjust for seasoning. It might need salt.

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