During spring break of junior year of college, I took a Caribbean cruise with my Mom. It was a super fun girls trip and one of my favorite pictures of us was during the muster call. We swam with sting rays (before Steve the Crocodile hunter died), climbed the Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, and saw a pink poodle in the Miami airport
We also ate some fantastically boozy Tortuga rum cake and (of course) jerk chicken. I have a bit of a “thing” for cookbooks, so I brought one home from the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory.
Truth be told, I’ve only made a few things from this cookbook. One being pina colada chicken and the other being one of the first things I cooked for John: jerk chicken Caesar salad. Looking back, the choice may have been a little odd, but it was a hot summer in St. Louis and I wanted to impress him with my culinary skills ;)
I haven’t thought much about jerk chicken until Monica pulled out cookbook after cookbook from our shelves, including my Caribbean souvenir. I thought it would be an appropriately summery dinner, so I dusted off my Midwestern jerk chicken recipe. Plus, the dinner stars aligned this week when my coworker shared her super simple recipe for pineapple salsa.
Speaking on pineapples, who decided to make them so popular this summer? Not that I’m complaining since one of my best friends from college and I have loved pineapples before they became the “it” thing. Did you know there’s a song called “Pineapple Princess“? You’re welcome :)
- 1 pound chicken
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 and ½ tablespoons jerk seasoning
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 4 tortillas
- 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained slightly)
- 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, minced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a quart sized Ziploc bag. Place chicken in bag with marinade. Seal bag tightly, squeezing out all the air. Let marinate for at least 4 hours (sometimes I'll marinate the chicken overnight). Turn bag several times to marinate evenly.
- Grill chicken until juices run clear.
- Chop, shred chicken.
- Preheat a skillet or a Panini press to medium-high heat. (I cheated and used a George Foreman grill.)
- Spread one half of a tortilla with chicken and cheese.
- Fold opposite side of tortilla over and grill for a few minutes on each side until cheese is melted and outside of tortilla is toasted/grilled.
- Serve with pineapple salsa
- Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate an hour or two for flavors to blend.