Jamaican Jerk Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Pineapple Salsa and Spicy Fried Bananas - it is as delicious as it sounds. Jamaican jerk is such a pungent and scrumptious spice blend and it works amazing with fresh and sweet pineapple and fried bananas.
In Jamaica, or in the Caribbean, they eat a lot of rice and beans. I had this in Cuba, and it was pretty much the only thing that tasted good there. You can read more about my experience with Cuban food over at this Cuban Quinoa Bowl recipe (which is so much better than anything Cuban I have ever tried, so I had to go home to taste good Cuban food, ironic). Anyhow, my point is, I exchanged the rice with quinoa for a more nutritious meal.
Jamaican jerk chicken quinoa bowl is a healthy dinner that is far from boring. It's so yummy, I could eat it at least every week. This will probably be my last Summery recipe before I'm heading to all things Fall. I wanted it to be special and extra flavorful - and this is it. Filled with spices such as cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, pineapple, bananas. I mean, it's some of the best things in the world combined into one delicious dish! It's easy even though the title Jamaican Jerk Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Pineapple Salsa and Spicy Fried Bananas is fairly long. I just wanted to share all the yummy ingredients in the title, you know how it is.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Pineapple Salsa and Spicy Fried Bananas
Let's dive into it, shall we.
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
If you have store bought, that is completely fine. I just love to make my own spice blends. It's also difficult to find such spice blends here in Norway, so it's the perfect excuse to start mixing yourself.
I did a little digging to find which spices are usually in a Jamaican Jerk seasoning, and I ended up with a spice blend with 15 different spices. This had to be good! It's a lot of spices, sure, but it's also nothing fancy. I'm guessing you have most of them, if not all, in your spice shelf. If not - you should definitely go shopping! I will use these spices a lot in the future.
Just mix all the spices together and store what you don't use today in an airtight container. Makes about ½ cup.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
We have our Jamaican jerk spice blend ready and we will begin with the chicken marinade. Mix the jerk blend with the rest of the chicken marinade ingredients (excluding the pineapple juice and butter). Pour half of the marinade into a bowl and add in the pieces of chicken. Let it marinade for 30 minutes to overnight. The other half will be our sauce. Double joy for half the work!
When the chicken is done marinating, we are ready to cook. To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in a little bit of canola oil when the pan is hot. Fry the chicken for 3-5 minutes, or until browned all over and cook through. Add the marinade you didn't use into the skillet, in addition to 30 ml of pineapple juice. Bring to a boil, add in 1 tablespoon of butter and cook about 5 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in some chopped cilantro if desired.
Quinoa & Black Beans
While the chicken is marinading, start with the quinoa. Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add in the oil and chopped onion. Cook for around 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the chopped red pepper and dry quinoa, cook another 5 minutes until the pepper is soft and the quinoa lightly toasted. Then you pour in 250 ml/1 cup chicken broth, bring it to a boil, cover and then simmer for 30 minutes.
Drizzle a little bit of oil in a medium hot pan. Add the rinsed black beans, garlic, jerk, salt and pepper and cook until warmed through. You can now mix the quinoa and beans together if you want.
Pineapple Salsa & Fried Bananas
Just mix the chopped pineapple with ½ red chili and cilantro, and drizzle with the juice of ½ lime. If you don't want it spicy, just leave out the chili, it's still mighty good. Set pineapple salsa aside while we fry our bananas.
Remove the peels and slice them ½ inch thick. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Lay down the banana slices and sprinkle with chili powder and cinnamon. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side. Be careful so that the bananas don't burn, turn down the heat if they are browning too quickly. You want enough heat to caramelize and brown the slices, but not burned. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt.
To serve; divide the quinoa among 2 bowls. Top with chicken, black beans, pineapple and bananas. Drizzle with the sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro, if desired.
It a shot, my cumbolos!
Yeah, I googled Jamaican phrases. There are so many crazy yet fabulous Jamaican slang, you should check it out. (It a shot = fabulous, cumbolo = friend)
Other Summery, fruity dinners:
- Cuban Quinoa Bowl with Mango Salsa
- Harissa Grilled Chicken Salad
- Mango Chipotle Quinoa Bowl
- Middle Eastern Tabbouleh
- Curry Coconut Chicken Satay with Mango Cucumber Salad
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